After 10 years toiling away as a New Orleans bar band, the Radiators have achieved a measure of success with their thick, Nawleans fusion rooted in boogie-woogie blues, R&B, cajun, bluegrass, New Orleans jazz and calypso, a sound they refer to only as "fishhead."
Monday night at the Bayou, the Radiators played a generous set with the ease of a band that's used to being on stage.
Each number was a steaming, delicious mess, from the lilting mambo and irresistible hooks of "Like Dreamers Do" to an ethereal Southern rock rendition of "Wild Horses" that rivaled even the Rolling Stones. But the night's best tune was the mumbo-jumbo "Low Life." Long, viscous instrumental jams evoked swamps haunted by guitars gone mad and maracas conjured up aural rattlesnakes.
The Radiators alternately sound like the Band, Little Feat, the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead and War. They slid into the old Jacksons' hit "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and worked it into Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up," making them sound like one song.
The set was marred only by a slightly impersonal air: Perhaps vocalists Dave Malone and Ed Volker each rely on the other to provide the audience with a personality under all the heat.