The Dred Scott Trio Completes Its Countdown To Armageddon Tonight At Rockwood Music Hall

Aidan Levy
The Dred Scott Trio at Rockwood Music Hall on October 18.
Midnight closed out October 18, and Dred Scott took to the stage with his trio at the Rockwood, as he has every Tuesday for the past six years. "What is CMJ?" Scott asked the boisterous crowd. "It's the Christian Music Jesus. CMJ comes around every year to see if we've been saved, and the answer's always the same." In case anyone doubted the answer, he began banging up and down the piano, tearing through a combustible original called "66 6ths."

The Rapture didn't cut CMJ short, but Scott will finish his own "Countdown to Armageddon" tonight with his sixth annual Halloween show at the Rockwood. The gonzo pianist—no relation to the 19th-century Virginian slave—has been a consistent musical presence on Tuesday nights, but this show will be his last. Expect some jazzed-up Black Sabbath covers, a reprise of the trio's winking homage to Anton LaVey "66 6ths," and a whole lot of "Hail Satans"—the swan song from hell.

"I've established my late-night supremacy. It's time to cast a wider net," said Scott, who decided to curtail the residency for reasons that included the arrival of his three-month-old daughter, Lucy. Scott isn't cutting back on his performance schedule as much as redirecting his efforts, though, playing earlier shows, now for a cover. To bolster this shift in circadian rhythm, he's releasing two albums —the trio full-length Going Nowhere and the solo album Prepared Piano, both on Ropeadope Records—before the end of the year.

Moby, Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3), Sasha Dobson (who's worked with Norah Jones), and Steven Bernstein (of Sex Mob) are among the dozens of special guests who have passed through over the years, and the final showdown should bring more out of the woodwork, although everything from the set list to the band's drink orders will be improvised, as they have been for years.

At any given moment, eccentric Village figures such as MC Extra Cheese might appear on stage. "Dred Scott is a astronaut. He'll take us all to space and prepare for blast off," the 40-Year-Old Rapper riffed at a recent show.

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