The best parade of this long Thanksgiving weekend was the one Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution started their Nov. 25 show at The Pearl Street Warehouse. A NOLA style tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 12-member ensemble marched, banged, strummed and twirled through a capacity crowd to take their places on stage. The audience cheered in appreciation; the atmosphere was electric!
Launching immediately into a gloriously energetic version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Brother Joscephus demonstrated an understanding of the album’s conceptual roots. Carnival-esque, incorporating a variety of musical genres from big band to jazz to avant-garde, each of the album’s tracks received a thoughtful and powerful presentation. They infused Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, for example, with a distinctive and vibrant reggae beat.
David Mendelsohn, BroJo’s funk master and vocal leader, and his right-hand multi-instrument playing music man, Dean Franson, a.k.a. the Right Reverend Dean Dawg, are the inspired leaders of this foot-stomping soul-soaring revolution of love. The performance had the carefree and playful quality of musicians who truly enjoy their time on stage together. A few moments approached the sublime: Lucas Shine’s mastery of the electric guitar, especially his solo riffs and seemingly improvised musical interpretation of the Beatles’ classics and Dean’s Franson’s introduction of the Glokenspeil during Getting Better.
Adding to the band’s successful execution of such an ambitious project, was the charm and intimacy of the venue itself. The Pearl Street Warehouse, located at The Wharf, Southwest DC’s new bustling waterfront entertainment hub, holds no more than 300 guests. Americana in both its musical and dining offerings, the venue’s atmosphere gives even sold-out shows a neighborhood feel. Pearl Street is the place to experience the best of what the DC music scene has to offer.
Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution was a perfect post-Thanksgiving celebration, providing the impetus needed to get even the most turkey laden audience member up and moving to their infectious grooveJ
Leanne Tankel studied poetry writing as a UC Berkeley undergraduate and was fortunate enough to work with the inimitable Thom Gunn. She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing at Boston University, where she held a teaching fellowship. Currently, she is writing prose, and her manuscript, Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage, was a 2011 short-list finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Awards program. Leanne lives with her husband, three sons, and two pugs in Northern Virginia.