The Three Clubs is a very cool Hollywood bar with a whole other section in the back for musical performances. “Phat Trane: Found” had its perfect location among the dimly lit room full of small tables, booths and a bar to one side. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when Phat was escorted out by his nurse (Little Foot) in a wheelchair and as he carefully made his way to the chair on stage with two guitars on each side, I realized the show had begun.
The show was very entertaining and the songs performed and written by LeRoy Johnson endearing, enlightening and mostly biographical. During the breaks in the songs, LeRoy filled the room with stories, intimate pieces of his life as a somewhat famous musician who made it big in France and returned to the USA. Once home he found that fame was fleeting and then spent a full 20 years of his life in a penitentiary on a manslaughter charge.
I guess you could say that Phat Trane has really lived a life and I really enjoyed the show, as did the audience. In fact, I felt as if I wasn’t really watching a performance at all. It felt far more genuine than that, as if I had wandered into a neighborhood bar, ordered a drink, sat down to listen to live music from an old school musician with a checkered past. I left feeling better than when I came in, which is always the mark of a great performance. The show runs until June 23 and is a definite must see and hear of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
The performers: LeRoy “Phat Trane” Johnson on Guitar, harmonica and vocals with Kristin “Little Foot” Levoy on background vocals.
Singer/Songwriter LeRoy Johnson was born at Charity Hospital in the city of New Orleans, sometime in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s (we think).
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina flooded the hospital, and its record room, causing many old files to go unrecovered and the hospital to remain closed to this day.
What happened to young LeRoy Johnson after those early days in New Orleans has always been a mystery. Until now. Now, freshly out of prison (after 20+ years), with no shortage of rumor and gossip, this mystical musician, who has impacted fans worldwide, is looking for his story to be told to a few final audiences before he heads home for good.
By influencing other musicians, artists and politicians, LeRoy “Phat Trane” Johnson has managed to quietly nudge his way into American culture. Hear some of the famous songs and the stories behind them in this new show by Playwright Brandon Sharkey debuting at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival, a show called “Phat Trane: FOUND.”
The show will be performed at The Three Clubs in Hollywood.