Lucky Jukebox Brigade keeps the Waterhole Hopping

An enthusiastic crowd danced the night away at the Lucky Jukebox Brigade’s free show at the Waterhole on Thursday June 12th.

Lead singer Deanna DeLuke wasn’t feeling well that night, with what she described as a “sore throat/cold/cough/laryngitis mess,” so the band made some changes to the lineup to compensate. Ragliacci, a side project featuring Lucky Jukebox Brigade percussionist Kristoph DiMaria on guitar and tuba player Andy Burger, opened the show with some fun gypsy folk-style tunes.

After they wrapped up, Lucky Jukebox Brigade took the stage. The Albany-based band, which formed in the fall of 2010, sounded like a band of gypsies as they began. DeLuke’s smoky voice was soft and strained but beautiful as she strummed her baritone ukelele. The horn section – Burger on tuba, Chris Weatherly on euphonium and trumpet, and Jimmy Affatigato on saxophone – played long, mournful notes and bass player Geppi Iaia, percussionist Kristoph DiMaria and drummer Carl Blackwood kept things driving.

One of the fun things about this band is they switch things up a lot. Band members switch around instruments relatively frequently – they probably did a little more of it due to DeLuke’s sore throat, but it’s clearly at least part of the regular act. Some of the most fun I had was watching DiMaria sing a song that was clearly a story, and the dramatic gestures he used as he told it.

In addition to changing up instruments, they also often switch their sound. Many of the band’s songs sound like a band of gypsies holding a carnival; one song, “Carnivultures,” even has someone acting as a carnival barker, boasting about sideshow acts. But their music samples from a variety of other styles as well. Some bordered on ska, hip hop, punk and funk, while others have a ’50s feel to them. The variety kept surprising the people bopping along on the dance floor.

Most songs seemed to be original tunes, but they did blend in a few covers, including Blind Melon’s “No Rain” and the No Doubt ska tune “Spiderwebs.” In the end, they had plenty of music to keep the crowd dancing till well past many people’s bedtimes on a school night. In the end, DeLuke said she had a lot of fun. “The crowd was so warm and energetic that I felt better as the night went on,” she said in an email after the show.

The band’s second album, Familiar Fevers, is scheduled for release July 18. They will play a WEQX-hosted album release party along with Black Mountain Symphony that night at 8:30 p.m. at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany.

For a taste of the new album, watch the cute video they just released for the song “Bend at the Marsh,” where they play their instruments while playing on a playground and then get in a big squirt gun war.

You can also check them out at an Alive at 5 after party at the Hollow June 19, and when they open for Rusted Root on June 28 at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park.

The music keeps going through the summer at the Waterhole with free music each Thursday night through the venue’s Party on the Patio series. Go to www.saranaclakewaterhole.com for more information.