Local piano legend Lafayette Gilchrist and his 10-piece band, The New Volcanoes, head to New Orleans next week to represent Baltimore in what’s being billed as a Wire vs. Treme battle of the bands. Gilchrist—whose music was featured in The Wire—and D.C.'s Backyard Band—featuring Anwan Glover, the go-go stalwart who played The Wire’s Slim Charles—will battle the Crescent City’s Galactic and the Stooges Brass Band.
“Who brings music to New Orleans?” David Simon, producer of both HBO dramas, said in a press release. “Who comes here and throws down against badass outfits like Galactic or the Stooges? I tried to warn them about New Orleans, I tried to hold ‘em back. But Lafayette and Big G won’t be told. They’re coming. They’re ready to cut.”
And check out the emcees for each city—actor Michael K. Williams (Omar on The Wire), will represent Baltimore, and Wendell Pierce (Treme’s Antoine Batiste and The Wire’s Bunk) will rep New Orleans. It figures to be quite a memorable evening, and the challengers might do well to heed Omar's words, "You come at the king, you best not miss." Whatever the outcome, it would be great to get a rematch in Baltimore.
The May 11th show at Tipitina’s will raise funds for two New Orleans-based charities, The Roots of Music and The Tipitina’s Foundation.
Gilchrist has a new live CD, It Came from Baltimore, coming out on May 15th, and the second season of Treme is just out on DVD.