Le Roux is a Louisiana sextet with the noble intention of blending popular southern boogie rock with the rich tradition of New Orleans rhythm & blues. Le Roux came so close to getting this hybrid right at the Bayou last night that their shortcomings were all the more frustrating. Every member was quite competent at the good-time power of southern rock and the syncopation of Louisiana R&B. Yet the band had neither a truly outstanding soloist nor a truly irresistible dance beat. Lead vocalist Jeff Pollard was pleasant but not quite exciting. Almost only counts in horseshoes.
Much better was Washington's own Jon Carroll & Metro, who opened the show. In the two years since he left the Starland Vocal Band, Carroll has opened many Bayou shows with fun but sloppy pickup bands. His new quintet was well rehearsed and quite tight. String-popping bassist Wade Matthews and steady drummer Robbie Magruder (both of Tim Eyerman's band) underscored the rhythm & blues beat of Carroll's "Gina" and "Ring Telephone, Ring." Former Starlander Margot Kunkel added soaring soprano wails behind Carroll's light but attractive voice. Typical of Carroll's new compositions was the clap-along melody of "Want Love? Get Closer," which is slated for Linda Ronstadt's next album.