Monday, August 31, 2009

Ricki Derek gets a Big Band

For those of you unfamiliar with Ricki Derek, I’ll give you a brief background on the Dallas crooner. Ricki has been performing in the DFW metroplex for close to a decade now, appearing in nightclubs, hotels and other events throughout the city. About five years ago, I stumbled across him on lower Greenville Avenue during one of his locally famous solo performances at The Cavern and he quickly became one of my favorite performers that Dallas has to offer. So, when I found out about the monthly “Big Band Tuesday” show he is presenting at his own club, The Scat Lounge in Fort Worth, I jumped at the opportunity to go and see him last month.

Located in Sundance Square, The Scat Lounge itself has its own Chicago-esque personality. The lounge is perfectly presented from the beginning with a back alleyway entrance to which an elevator takes you down into a dark room scattered with small and intimate candlelit tables.

As I was seated at my table I could really get a clear view of the stage as the musicians were tuning for the nights performance. It was quite a sight as the 16 piece band was fully loaded with trumpets, trombones, and saxophones in addition to his usual trio of upright bass, keys, and drums. The music started at 9pm as the Big Band warmed up the crowd with a few classic ensembles, and right from the beginning it was obvious that this was going to be a good night. The camaraderie between the musicians was extremely apparent and the good energy was easily spread throughout the crowd.

Ricki took the stage at about half past 9 and, as per usual, immediately lit us up with his cheeky banter. He had just flown in earlier that day from a trip to Amsterdam, so you can only imagine the jokes that were being told throughout the night. However, if the man was jetlagged it was hard to tell. It didn’t take him long to start belting out our old Rat Pack favorites garnished with high kicks and a plethora of other dance moves.

By the time the second set was kicking off, things were really in full gear. Ricki and his Big Band were performing tracks off of his latest release including their own brass takes on Modern English’s “I Melt with You” and completed the night with Danger Man theme song “Secret Agent Man”.

I can honestly say as a huge fan, I’ve seen Ricki on stage more times than I can count and this was an absolute treat if not my favorite performance to date. He was completely in his element being backed by some of the more talented musicians in the area. I highly recommend taking the trip to Fort Worth and enjoying a wonderfully talented and just all around good time at The Scat Lounge.

Next “Big Band Tuesday”: September 15th
Next Mercy Performance: October 17th

Liz Williams