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The Round Pegs
New Orleans Americana
bookings: (504) 458-2641 phfred@phfred.com

 
The Round Pegs are truly one of those “Only in New Orleans” phenomena. Reverence for convention? If there are any rules that songwriters are honor-bound to uphold, bandleader and twisted alchemist P. H. Fred is overjoyed to break them. Genres? You can’t fit them into a standard square record store bin. They play what they like and like what they play. Their infectious quirkiness obeys a single rule – it must be fun. Fortunately in New Orleans music one need never settle for band members who are merely sufficient. That would be akin to having a Cajun dish without cayenne or a neighborhood bar without its characters. Blasphemy. Unthinkable. Intolerable. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. The Round Pegs embody musical whimsy, adroitly played, with vigor aforethought.
 
The Round Pegs are the gigging version of the recording ensemble Mister Fred’s Round Pegs and Bass Peeps, whose full line-up precludes the likelihood of all of them appearing on any one stage in any one night, much less for a full tour. Mister Fred draws from a deep well of musical talent. They have included notables such as Mike Watt (Minuteman and the Stooges), Fernando Saunders (formerly with Lou Reed along with gigs with Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton) and George Porter, Jr. (The Meters). Jimmy Messa (the subdudes) records as well as performs live. Steve Hunter on guitar also played with Lou Reed (and Peter Gabriel, Dr. John, among many others). Their 2010 release Lithium and Underoos prompted Brian Robbins of Jambands.com to describe it as a “folk/rock opera that at times sounds like a happy, goofy cartoon version of the Velvet Underground.” Alec Cunningham of Yourreview.com gave their 2013 EP Pack Up Your Bags! 4.5 out of 5 stars and called it “coated in talent and brilliance.”
 
The current, generally regularly performing Round Pegs line-up consists of P.H. Fred (after all, it’s his circus – on guitar, vocals and assorted noises), John Lisi (guitar and dobro), John Fohl (guitar), Benjamin Strange (bass), Stephen Randall (drums and vocals), Lindsay Rose Hausman (cello) and Tiffany Pollack (vocals). But anyone might join in at any time – that’s part of the fun.
 
In a city full of characters, P.H. Fred is character’s character: educator (there’s an app for that! no seriously, check it out on the app store, Freducator XL), songwriter, comedian, writer, and artist. His music has appeared on the Dr. Demento Show and in popular toys. With the Basin St. Sheiks he was one of the first musicians to play at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; he and the Sheiks performed not only at Jazz Fest several years in a row, but also at Rock and Bowl and most clubs on Frenchman Street. At the Ogden, Fred has played Family Day many times with the Freddy Fred Show. John Lisi fronts Delta Funk and won the 2009 Slim Harpo Award for Blues Pioneer. John Fohl performs and records by himself and with scores of other musicians, including a decade-long stint with Dr. John. Benjamin Strange releases music under the name UFO Death Cult and owns Strange Guitarworks in New Orleans. Drummer extraordinaire Stephan Randall has toured with Tab Benoit and backed Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. Lindsay Hausman brought her Celtic folk metal cello to New Orleans in 2010 from Vegas, where she played with Calamity Jayne & the Cowpunks and Shufflefoot. Tiffany Pollack works as mortician by day and musician by night – folks, you can’t make that up. Hey, it’s N’Awlins.
 
The Round Pegs have played everywhere about town, including four years at the French Quarter Fest, the New Orleans Fringe Fest, and as house band for Brown! Improv. The Pegs celebrated 50 years of P.H. Fred with a birthday gig at the Ogden Museum After Hours. They’ve introduced their unique stylings everywhere from Tipitina’s to Carrollton Station to the Neutral Ground to Chickie Wah Wah to Blue Nile, the Arts Market New Orleans at Palmer Park, and, fittingly enough, the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Check them out. And check out their 2015 greatest hits compilation You Are Unique in All the World. But only if you’re ready for fun.

 

Contact at phfred@phfred.com or call 504-458-2641

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