An Interview with Dave Jordan of Dave Jordan & The N.I.A.

In-between a short Florida run and an upcoming NC/SC/GA run, we recently caught up with Dave Jordan of Dave Jordan & The N.I.A. for a few minutes while he was at home in New Orleans. He will be in Aiken on June 5th, 2021. 

AMF: The first question wasn’t one I had written down- more me being curious because I can’t find the answer poking around your social media or online. What is The N.I.A.?

DJ: The Neighborhood Improvement Association. (Laughs) Shortly after (Hurricane) Katrina, we were playing some porch and backyard shows just for friends and locals. A woman comes over and asks my guitarist if we could turn it down, that Brad Pitt was holding a meeting a couple houses over, and it was too loud. Someone quipped “Brad Pitt and his (^%#%) Neighborhood Improvement Association,” and here we are. 

AMF: 2020 was…

DJ: Very fortunate for me, in a way. My son graduated college and we went west for 60 days- Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming. We wouldn’t have had that opportunity under normal circumstances. We found a way to keep the wheels turning, picking up plenty of porch shows and smaller venues along the way. It also allowed me time to begin work on a new album. (In pre-production with Anders Osborne, tentative January 2022 release.) We also kept the music alive here at home in much smaller settings- porch parties and the like. 

AMF: Your sound…I haven’t quite put my finger on it, but it draws to mind a…feel?

DJ: I’ve told plenty of people that I could be the lovechild of Tom Petty, Dr. John, and John Prine. Hugely influenced by The Neville Brothers, The Meters, and Allen Toussaint. The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead are both big favorites as well. 

AMF: Same vein, different leaf- who is on your turntable, or streaming, at the moment?

DJ: Lucas Nelson, Tyler Childers, Bobby Charles, and John Prine. 

AMF: You’re a 30 year live music veteran, 20 years on the road nationally? Any experiences that really stand out?

DJ: The first time I played live with The Meters. And definitely a 2.5hour live career retrospective we did with Art Neville. 9 piece band- I played funk/bass, and Art was with us.

AMF: This run- how many pieces? 

DJ: 5- Acoustic, Electric, Drums, Bass, and Fiddle. And we’ve got some SC guys with us on this run: Jack Ryan (drummer for the Marcus King Band), and Gregory “Wolf” Hodges (guitarist for the late Colonel Bruce Hampton).

AMF: Does the fiddle lead into any bluegrass numbers? Aiken has a strong love of that genre.

DJ: There’s a real good chance you’ll hear one. 

AMF: I know I’ve failed to ask at least one important question…

DJ: South Louisiana is known for a good party and a good time, and that’s what we’re known for as well. We look forward to bringing it to y’all in a couple weeks. 

(Anybody else suddenly craving beignets and café au lait, or is it just me?)