The Mudbugs play Down Home, 300 W. Main St., Saturday at 8 p.m. Not only will they bring their special brand of music, they promise dancing, too.
Saturday will be special on other counts: Sax and accordion man Dr. Ron Baisden celebrates his retirement from the ETSU Med School, and the Mudbugs will transform into The Upsetters for a few songs with Lightnin’ Charlie at the end of the first set.
The Mudbugs takes its name from a Cajun term for crawfish, which is most appropriate for a group whose focus includes classic Fats Domino tunes, as well as the New Orleans music made famous by Professor Longhair, Huey Piano Smith, Dr. John, The Meters and many others. Lots of growling saxophone and driving drum beats accompany the rolling piano sounds created by some of New Orleans’ most famous keyboard artists. The Mudbugs bring a bit of Canal Street to any stage or club setting with tunes that invite everyone to swing, dance, strut and let the good times roll.
The Mudbugs consists of a quartet of veteran musicians, all based in Johnson City. Mike Knowles’ piano and vocals are the foundation with ever strong support offered by Baisden on both tenor and baritone saxophones as well as accordion. Phil Leonard provides both marching snare and New Orleans fatback drum kit work. Sam Burke completes the musical ensemble with his soulful, rhythmic bass lines. Sam, Ron, and Phil are also heard with a few complimentary lead and backing vocals from time to time.
The Mudbugs group members have performed on world class stages such as The E-Town and Mountain Stage radio shows, Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Festival, the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville, NC, Nashville’s Summer Lights, The Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands, and club venues across America.
Tickets are $10 at the door.
For more information, call 929-9822 or visit www.downhome.com.