It’s not too hard to see at a glance that Sweet Papa Lowdown has a thing for classic jazz and blues.
Perhaps the band’s most visually imposing instrument — the almost comically large bass saxophone — harkens back to years past, and its popularity in the jazz of the ’20s and ’30s.
It’s an archaic instrument, with a deep, mellow sound, said Jeff Shucard, founder of Sweet Papa Lowdown who plays guitar and vocals.
Shucard said he figures his love for classic jazz and blues has a mystical element.
“I just assume that in a previous incarnation, I played in one of those bands,” laughs Shucard. “And I just keep revisiting it like a ghost.”
Music lovers will get a chance to see if they have a similar past-life connection at the band’s show at the MAC on Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m.
If so, you won’t be alone.
That era of jazz and blues has a dedicated following, perhaps more in Europe than North America, Shucard said.
Joining him will be Blaine Dunaway on violin, and Doug Rhodes on the aforementioned bas saxophone.
But as smitten as they are with classic jazz and blues, Sweet Papa Lowdown isn’t about recreating the musical sound of any band or famous musician. They aim to bring a contemporary vitality to the music. And that’s accomplished just by being themselves, said Shucard.
“We’re not traditionalists,” he said, adding that, within certain boundaries, they add their own ideas to the music.
Overall, it’s very accessible music, he said, that doesn’t require knowledge of its history to enjoy it.
Though audience members have told him, “I don’t know what this music is, but I enjoy it.”
Consequently, Shucard has a name for their music: “Post-modern retro-fusion Afro-American hokum jazz and blues.”
To find out what all that’s about, the performance is at 7 p.m. at the MAC on Saturday, May 6. Tickets are $20 or $18 for OCAC members.