REVIEW / PHOTOS / VIDEO: 7 Walkers @ Tipitina’s 10/18/11

From the moment I entered Tipitina’s, it was plain to see 7 Walkers came to steal some face – and take the opportunity to get the well-worn tie-dyes out from the dresser drawers. The balcony and backdrop were draped in multi-colored tapestries, an oil paint artist was waiting for the first set to start so he could begin an improv experiment (a la STS9 live painting), a dead head by the bar was counting the multiple tie-dye’s draped over his shoulder. Best of all, Professor Longhair overlooked the band below, cosmically lit up in kaleidoscopic fashion from the first note through the second encore. Fall’s first chill winds blew in through the doors as the quartet opened with Grateful Dead’s “Space”, quickly warming up as the band segued into a funky rendition of the always-poignant “He’s Gone.” Effortlessly interspersing Dead classics like “Bird Song”, a healthy sampling of their new material, and a Meters staple (“Just Kissed My Baby”), 7 Walkers tore their way through set one – with a little help from the one and only Big Sam on “Eyes of the World” and the 7W original stone groove instrumental “For the Love of Mr. Okra” before set break.