In Romania, the birthplace of gypsy music, there is a term affectionately used for indulging in a loud, sweaty night of music and revelry. It's called a "moral holiday."
The New Orleans band Dirty Bourbon River Show wants to keep that concept alive, and it leads every show by example.
Baton Rougeans will get a chance to see just what a "moral holiday" looks like when the band performs Saturday at Dyson House Listening Room. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Alabaster Stag opens the show.
Dirty Bourbon River Show’s musical influences stretch across gypsy, punk, rock and traditional New Orleans brass. Conceptually, the band's influences are composed of scenes from the velvet underbelly of cabaret, burlesque and circus sideshow.
“Pure madness,” Noah Adams, the band's multi-instrumentalist and frontman, said of the performances. “A neo-vaudevillian New Orleans brass-themed variety show.”
Onstage, Adams lets his alter ego, “Wolfman,” loose to court the audience.
“You’ve got to connect through every sensual mode — draw them in,” Adams said. “I love the concept of having people in the palm of your hand. They want to be given the music, and you feel that trust.”
Adams and the band deliver a concoction that reflects the conflict he sees in human desire: reality and fantasy, old-world and present, light and dark.
“It’s the duality of man,” Adams said. “Part of us comes out to exercise these carnal desires. We go out and drink and hear music, and part of us wants an intimate experience of music where we can relate.”
A high school dropout from Oregon, Adams spent years drifting across the United States before settling down in New Orleans 10 years ago. He later graduated from Loyola University in the Crescent City.
“I could immerse myself in the highest level of musicianship on the planet,” Adams said of New Orleans. "I’m very weird, and it’s a place of weird people. I can feel at home.”
Adams worked a host of jobs along the way but said he could never tune down the creative mechanism in his mind.
“I’m not great at a lot of things, but I’ve always been able to create," Adams said. "It’s my blessing and my curse."
Although he had never performed with a band before, Adams founded Dirty Bourbon River Show shortly after arriving in New Orleans with students he knew from Loyola. Recently, the band picked up two LSU School of Music graduates — Nick Garrison on trombone and Scott Graves on drums.
“We got Nick last year, and he was just great, an awesome trombone player, awesome human being,” Adams said. “Then our drummer and founding member Bootsy gave us his notice. We held an audition, and Scott Graves came in and blew everybody else out of the water.”
The band has special plans for the intimate setting of Dyson House, which will be its first show with Graves on drums. The show also is the band's first stop on a tour promoting an upcoming record, "The Flying Musical Circus."
“It’ll be fun to see us take risks, and we may possibly fail,” Adams joked. “We could crash and burn, or it could be awesome. Who knows?”
Dirty Bourbon River Show/Alabaster Stag
When: Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: Dyson House Listening Room, 7575 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door