They’ve been at it since 1987, but the New Orleans quintet the subdudes are just getting back to playing unplugged for the first time since the group’s earliest days.
“We just thought it would be fun to try — anything to kind of keep us juiced up and make the shows fresh, y’know?,” says Tim Cook, 60, who joined the group in 2002 after subdudes took a sixyear hiatus. “We sit in a semi-circle and just play acoustic guitars and ... accordions instead of a full keyboards and tambourine without the drum accents. The singing is a lot easier.
“I think the personal touch we have with the crowd is a little more sincere and intimate this way. Even die-hard subdudes fans are really talking about how cool it is.”
But even in the quieter setting, Cook says the group manages to generate the same kind of energy it does when the instruments are plugged in.
“Oh, it’s still rockin’,” Cook says. “As a band, in fact, I think we groove maybe even better in this format. We’re playing all the subdudes songs that are in the catalog, really digging in deep, and by the end of the night people are up in their chairs and in the aisle and wherever the can be, shaking their booties.”
The subdudes have recently released a new DVD documentary and concert film, “Biographica,” and Cook says the group will return to the studio in January to record “more of a concept record” than it’s attempted before.
The subdudes perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 18) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.