I’m sure the idea of supergroups have been around longer than I have ever known. I remember my first discovery of one in my early teens. The Traveling Wilburys came together, and awed music fans everywhere with their phenomenal collision of some of the greatest names of the century. Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty all had plenty more love to give, and they dished it out with immediate hits like “Handle with Care” and “End of the Line“.
The next experience I had with that magic touch of supergroup superiority was the explosive collaboration of John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme known as Them Crooked Vultures. Although the band now seems to be on an indefinite hiatus, they can be easily forgiven based on their phenomenal past gifts of creation like “New Fang” and “Elephants“. Not only were they hands down one for the books, but they created an explosive style and blend of talents that could melt the faces off of anyone that played their cd, let alone the lucky ones that had a chance to see them live. Just for the record… I was one of those lucky ones, and, no, I’m still not sure if my frontal epidermis ever completely grew back.
It wasn’t until this year on the last weekend in January that I finally saw a new supergroup that could give both the Traveling Wilburys and Them Crooked Vultures a run for their money. The Lafayette Super Group, affectionately known as The LSG, came bursting onto the local scene not to long ago, and I had a chance to catch their spectacular performance. They are a group of like-minded, talented musicians in the greater Lafayette area playing a wide variety of covers with a wide variety of musicians. The show that evening was in the band’s hometown of Lafayette, Indiana at Digby’s Pub and Patio. The cast of musicians ready at the helm was comprised of Ebony Barrett-Kennedy on vocals, LD Miller on vocals and harmonica, Cole Miller on guitar, Ryan Fletcher on flute, Scott Pazera on bass, Jeffrey Lageveen on percussions, William John Pinnick on guitar, Ryan “Icky” Fletcher on percussion, Mark B Cooper on keyboard and vocals, Alex Mason on trombone and trumpet, and Chad Downey on trumpet. They each had their own individual talents that when brought together became a spontaneously combustible mixture that lit the room on fire. The band was packed together in tight quarters at one side of the vast bar, and looking outward from them was a sea of people as far as the eye could see. It was standing room only, and by standing I mean upright and dancing your ass off sometimes even on top of chairs. It was evident from the explosive excitement packed in that room that Digby’s owners were lucky to still have a roof left for as high as it got raised that night.
It seems the world today consistently suffers from rampant egos and excess. I remember thinking it was mighty bold to just throw the term “supergroup” in their band name the way that The LSG did. I might even have wondered a little about their credibility because of that usage before walking into Digby’s that night. I’ll tell you, though, after seeing just one emanation of such a phantasmagorical musical creation I’ll never doubt it again. The Lafayette Super Group is a very welcomed presence on not just the local music scene in Lafayette, but in the world as a whole. They may only play borrowed hits and covers, but their musical collaboration is far from ordinary. The LSG are extraordinary personified, and I hope their bright shining auras illuminate our lives for light years to come.