12 to 14 hours drive from the nearest sizeable city, Halifax Nova Scotia is not witness to many touring bands, but the folks at the Halifax Jazz Festival do their best to bring in a few big names each year. In 2013 the festival was host to New Orleans legend Dr. John.
It must be difficult for mixing engineers to get a good sound for everyone as most shows are held in a tent next to a condo development. I found the show to be quiet - presumably a requirement to satisfy the condo-dwellers next door. Starting from the middle of the tent I found the sound to be abysmal – all bass, piano drums vocals and guitar were all buried in the mix. Perhaps the mixing engineer didn't benefit from a sound check. We tried moving to the back of the tent and it was equally bad but in a different way – thin, no bottom end. Finally, we moved as close as we could get to the front of the stage and found the sound better – perhaps we were missing bass reflections off of the tent, and benefitting from monitors and instruments live off the stage. Complaints about the tent aside – it is, admittedly, I gather, a necessity given Halifax's propensity for rain and wind – the show was a great one. With classics like Iko Iko, Cotton Fields, Tipitina, Right Place Wrong Time, and How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around the set list was list was a recipe for success. Rounds of solos from all band members proved them all to be adept at their instruments – Joel Johnson on guitar, Sarah Morrow on wah wah pedal-driven trombone, Bobby Floyd on organ and Reggie Jackson on drums were all noteworthy players. Dr John was of course brilliant on acoustic piano and Nord Electro. IN addition to piano, he stepped onto guitar for one song and laid down a very tasty solo. All things considered, a fine concert. <small>Photo [Creative Commons](http://www.flickr.com/photos/clender)</small>