The Legendary South Florida Blues Band.:Graham Wood Drout's IKO-IKO
"Tough and gritty Blues- Rock played with energy and imagination..." - RELIX MAGAZINE
There are many outstanding Blues Artists calling Florida home but only a few of them can be called legendary. IKO IKO has achieved their legendary status over and over again. In 1987 IKO-IKO released their first album on King Snake Records "Snowstorm in the Jungle" reaching number 11 on the American Blues Charts.This record was followed by "Riding on the Rims"' :Protected By Voodoo"' and "Shine." IKO IKO is best known as the house band at Miami's Tobacco Road ,sharing the stage with literally every working Blues artist in America from 1982 to the present.. From Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker,to Sun Ra and David Bromberg the list goes on and on. IKO IKO provided back up for Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Ron Wood, Bobby Keys and a host of others. IKO IKO even worked with fellow Floridian Jimmy Buffett on his musical ,"Don't stop the carnival." When the state of Florida put together a concert to pay homage to its homegrown musical talent including Lynrd Sknyrd, Sam and Dave, Marva Wright just to name a few, IKO IKO was hired to provide musical support for all the acts.
Graham Wood Drout's IKO-IKO "A must see!"- Rock and Roll Road Trip, Rolling Stone Magazine . The San Diego Tribune describes IKO IKO as "An eclectic mix of southern musical traditions."The band calls it Urban Swamp Music: a swirling mix of Blues, Mardi Gras , Gulf Coast Americana, jazz, jam band sensibilities, Rock and Roll music with a Bo Diddley beat, steller musicianship and the award winning song craft of Graham Wood Drout. Graham's songs have been a favorite of AAA radio and the satalite stations. His tunes have been covered by IBC Blues winner Joey Gilmore (who credits Graham's "Ghosts of Mississippi" for putting him over the top. Ghosts of Mississippi went on to win the 2008 Blues Critics Award for song of the year.) and Blues Leaf Records guitar slinger Albert Castiglia who scored a hit with the fabulous Mr. D's "Big Toe." Craig Rusky of Delta Snake Magazine says, "As a songwriter Drout is a powerful master." Ed Ivy of Blues Revue Magazine says, "This songwriting is on the order of Gordon Lightfoot or Jim Croce....great and emotionally complete." Patrick O'Donnell of Blues On Stage writes, "Graham is an artist in every sense of the word."
IKO-IKO Graham Wood Drout: Vocals, guitar, bass, percussion. Good Rockin' Johnny Wenzel: Guitar, slide guitar Mitch Mestel: Bass, vocals Daniel East: Drums, percussion,Nicole Yarling violin and vocals, Ron Taylor: piano. organ, keyboards, Jeff Zavac Sax and flute. You can find out more about IKO IKO by visiting our web site: www.iko-iko.com. BMI
Iko Iko's Graham Wood Drout, a rockabilly poet
> Posted by Deborah Ramirez on October 28, 2008 at 8:00 AM
Good songwriters are poets who use melody and words to help us see the world in a different way. By this definition, Graham Wood Drout is a poet.
But an unusual one. At 55, Drout is better known as South Florida's rockabilly veteran, the musician who founded Iko Iko and still fronts the roots rock band. This Halloween night, Drout and Iko celebrate their 25th anniversary together, performing at the Hoodoo Voodoo Ball at the Downtowner Saloon in Fort Lauderdale, where they share the bill with the Albert Castigilia Band, the Nucklebusters and special guest Rudy.
While Drout is a bandleader, guitarist, vocalist and painter, his first love is songwriting. As a young man, he was inspired by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison, while attending an American high school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where his father was stationed in the military. Drout also lived in New Jersey and Texas before settling in South Florida.
"I've always enjoyed good lyrics and poetry," Drout said in a recent interview from his home in Pinecrest. "I had hip teachers in high school who turned me on to Alan Ginsberg and the beat poets. When I started playing my first chords, the first thing I wanted to do was write my own songs."
He still does. Drout's lyrics have won him honors, like the Blues Critics Choice Awards in February 2007 for "Ghosts of Mississippi," a song about the decline of Beale Street. His work has been recorded by local bluesman Joey Gilmore and blues-rocker Castiglia. And Drout has built a reputation for writing image-filled songs that linger in the imagination.
And on that day when the bells don't ring/ the flags don't fly and the birds don't sing/ we'll wink an eye and we'll wave a hand/ and know that the love we lost is ours again.
Or "Blues All Over You":
When the convict comes back to his cell his clothes all caked in mud/ when the butcher man comes home from work his apron stained in blood/I'm a bluesman baby what I am is what I do/when I come home at night I get my blues all over you.
And "Ghosts of Mississippi":
Now we once rode the riverboats like pharaohs down the Nile/with rainbows on our shoulders and silver in our smiles.