709 Washington Street, Durham, North Carolina 27701

Tom Merrigan’s Hot Racoons 6/25/21

June 25, 2021  ·  Friday * 7-9pm * NO Cover

Virtuoso boogie-woogie piano phenomenon Tom Merrigan is known for playing so fast and hard that he sometimes leaves blood on the keys!  To assist him with the blood-letting several years ago he assembled a crack team of some of the area’s top musicians.  Together, they belt out a collection of highly original tunes which manages to be both thoroughly quirky and new yet firmly rooted in the great, American boogie-woogie tradition.  This evening they will celebrate the release of their album, “Let’s Get Lost,” recorded before a live audience as they lit the factory floor on fire at the late, great Mystery Brewing Company.



Tom initially rose to prominence in New York as a founding member of the New Rags, playing wild, high-speed ragtime piano through a maxed out guitar amp while a drummer thrashed with wild abandon.  Crowds loved it! The quirky group gained a loyal fan base and even got picked up by Nike for a TV commercial.


Tom found his way to North Carolina where he started the Durham Street Piano Project.  A fund raising campaign back in the early days of Kickstarter got him an upright piano with wheels on it and a trailer to tow it around town.  Since then, he’s been popping up around town and on local stages, busting out his joyous noise in shows and surprising us at times on random street corners when you least expect.


A few years ago Tom began hankering for a band. He teamed up with a sax player, then added drums, then more vocals and finally rounded out the horns with a trombone.  The group now boasts powerhouse singer Dana Marks, omnipresent local horn players Danny Grewen on trombone and Steve Cowles on sax, and Kevin Magill on a most unusual drum set that he built with his own bare hands.  Dubbed the “Hot Racoons” in homage to Tom’s mild obsession with our trash panda friends, they began to take area stages by storm.  Since then, they have developed a reputation for over the top, no holds barred shows that leave both themselves and the audience drenched in sweat.


Word of mouth has been spreading about the Hot Racoons and their electric shows as their fans have become ever more numerous.  If you are one, you know why.  If not, come find out!


Video:
Baby Won’ t You Come On Home With Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkVQSRd1pXI