Gros takes on a sweet sound with 'Sugar and Ice' and 'Two Little Angels.' 'Shaky Frank' is a steady jam and would be a solid selection for a second single. 'Cocaine and Chicken Friacassee' sounds like it flew out of 1978 but is actually a collection of anecdotes from Gros's group Papa Grows Funk’s lengthy Monday night residency at the Maple Leaf. “It’s 13 years of Monday nights rolled into one song. The good, the bad, the ugly,” Gros told The Advocate's Keith Spera. He becomes more pensive and contemplative for 'Same Old Same' and the album's final track, a vividly depressing 'This New Year's Eve.'
Though it's been more than a decade since Gros's last solo release, that was no dormant time in his career-- his focus was intense on Papa Grows Funk, a group that toured frequently, held Monday nights at the Maple Leaf, and released five albums from 2000 till they disbanded in 2013. Gros is a recognizable face for live music fans in New Orleans. In addition to solo performances and Papa Grows Funk, he also performs with Anders Osborne, Raw Oyster Cult, and the Meter Men, featuring bassist George Porter Jr., drummer Zigaboo Modeliste and guitarist Leo Nocentelli of the Meters.
Gros celebrated the release of River's On Fire with a show at Tipitina's last Friday but you can also catch him for free twice this fall-- October 8 at the newly-minted Beignet Festival in Lafayette Square and October 13 at Jazz in the Park in Armstrong Park. He also appeared live on Missy Bowen's evening Blues/R&B show on Thursday, August 25. You can hear that performance on our 2-week archive through Wednesday, September 7, 2016.