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Stanton & Skerik’s Emerald Quintet promises rare, energetic show

  • Author: Chris Bieri
  • Updated: August 29
  • Published August 28

Saxophone player Skerik will perform with Stanton & Skerik's Emerald Quintet at Bear Tooth Theatrepub.

For more than 20 years, Stanton Moore and Eric Walton have been co-conspirators on a wide range of musical projects.

Walton, the Seattle-based saxophonist better known as Skerik, has developed a reputation as a versatile performer whose list of bands and collaborators is long and eclectic.

But his partnership with New Orleans native Moore has been perhaps his most prevailing and prolific.

The foundation of the supergroup Stanton & Skerik’s Emerald Quintet dates back to the release of Moore’s 1998 debut solo album “All Kooked Out!” and Moore and Skerik’s first performance together at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

And aside from the 20th anniversary performance at Jazzfest in the spring, the band is only playing a couple more times this year.

Skerik said that should make for a special dynamic for both the musicians and audience.

“This is not just another tour stop for us," Skerik said. “We’re putting all of our eggs into this basket. It’s a band that doesn’t get to play together and when it does, it’s really cool. I just love how (Bear Tooth is) making it this special unique show and we are too.”

Rounding out the lineup for the group is guitarist Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), keyboardist Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars) and bass player Hess (Black Crowes, Government Mule).

Although the group’s name is a fairly recent addition in honor of the emerald anniversary at Jazzfest, the chemistry among the musicians has been simmering for years and throughout various bands.

Moore and Skerik formed Garage A Trois in 1998 and have played in multiple other formations together. Metzger and Hess, both Brooklynites, have played in at least three bands together. Metzger has played with Walter, Moore and Skerik in FrequiNOT. Hess and Moore have done studio work together with guitarist Will Bernard.

“Bands rely on chemistry and everything has to be there,” Skerik said.

Although nearly all the players have significant jazz backgrounds, Skerik said the sound is “where funk meets rock.”

The driving force of the group is the rhythm section of Moore and Hess, who Skerik described as “if Paul Jackson and John Paul Jones had a bass baby.”

“He’s just fearless and very tasteful and just f---ing awesome.”

Moore is best known for his work with the funk jam band Galactic, but he and Skerik have developed their own musical partnership.

“We’re just old friends and from the first time we played together I was like ‘hell yeah,' ” Skerik said. “He tells some story I was climbing on his drums during the gig and said ‘He and I will get along just fine.’ He’s one of my best friends and just an awesome drummer. Over the time I’ve known him he’s taken it very seriously and just worked his ass off and it shows.”

Skerik said both he and the crowd feed off Moore’s seemingly limitless energy.

“Drummers for me, I just need the energy and I need tons of energy,” Skerik said. “I’ve got to have it and there’s no shortage there.”

Stanton & Skerik’s Emerald Quintet

Where: Bear Tooth Theatrepub (21 and over)

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 (doors 7 p.m.)

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