Best Blues Band Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 1999 - Iko-Iko
This South Florida institution is the area's best because they are, well, more than just a blues band. The group's founder and lead singer Graham Wood Drout helped pioneer this region's blues scene back in the early '80s with the Fat Chance Blues Band, and his knowledge and understanding of the form is uncontestable. But along the way he has crafted an original body of work incorporating a host of roots influences, not the least of which is the swampy Louisiana groove and imagery evoked by the band's name. The current version of Iko-Iko is the strongest yet, featuring multi-instrumentalists Ron Dizubla and Doug Leibinger on saxes, guitar, and keyboards, and the band's most recent CD, Protected by Voodoo," is as finely tuned a product as any yet-to-go-national band could hope for. Tight, experienced, Iko-Iko satisfies the blues purist while forging its own more unique path.