This isn’t the first time we’ve written about Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner, a fact he points out almost immediately.
Back in 2007, when Weiner was playing piano solo under the name Ladyfingers, he performed at the Jinx, and Connect’s Jim Reed wrote a preview of it. Weiner liked the write-up so much that he used it to promote other shows.
“There weren’t that many write-ups in those days,” Weiner shares. “I can still remember them all—that’s how few there were.”
Now, Low Cut Connie is a major act—with plenty of write-ups—but getting there was a total accident.
“It was what I call an unplanned pregnancy,” Weiner deadpans.
After gigging around with Ladyfingers and getting nowhere, he took a job teaching English and history in New York, about to put his dreams of a music career on hold.
“I was pretty fairly convinced that it wasn’t going to happen for me,” he remembers. “So, before I ratchet down and this becomes more of a hobby, why don’t I do one little fun summer project before I start the school season in the fall?”
Weiner got some friends together and played around to create what would become “Get Out the Lotion,” which they didn’t even expect to sell.
“It was just a fun project, and I thought, ‘Oh, we’ll give some CDs to my friends,’ back when people listened to CDs,” he recalls, “and maybe once a year we’ll get together and play some of these songs. And then it just completely took off.”
It took off, in fact, to the point that Low Cut Connie’s fans include Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, and Elton John.
All three have lauded the project, but Weiner says that Elton John has been especially supportive.
“I’m like him, I’m another funny-looking piano-playing kind of maniac, and he recognized that,” he muses. “He really gave me a lot of advice and encouragement, and I obviously grew up with him, as we all did. Not just his music, but his unbelievable, captivating, fearless personality. He’s somebody that communicated to me as a kid, ‘Be yourself, do your thing, and don’t be afraid of what people will say.’”
If you’ve ever seen Weiner play piano, you’ll immediately get the Elton connection. He puts on an electrifying performance, as evidenced by his 2018 Stopover set at Social, which he calls “explosive.”
Weiner learned how to work the crowd by performing small rooms, just like the Jinx years ago, where the dynamic between the performer and the audience is most palpable.
“As I always say, getting up in front of a thousand fans who know and love your songs—that’s easy,” he says. “But getting in a smaller bar like the Jinx, with twenty people who have never heard of you and don’t necessarily want to like you, and winning them over, that’s the tough work. When you do ten to twenty thousand hours of that, the bigger stages seem a lot easier.
“I don’t need to tell you that I’ve bombed so many times in my life,” he continues. “I mean, there’s no stand-up comedian or writer or performer or singer or actor or athlete that doesn’t know what it is to not nail it, and not nail it many times. But that work is the adjustments you make, and the confidence you build from doing it over and over. I’m not afraid of bombing; I’m excited at the possibility of it might happen. It’s like skydiving; it’s a thrill.”
Friday’s show, we’re pretty sure, won’t be a bomb. Low Cut Connie is on tour with Big Freedia, the Queen of Bounce from New Orleans, of whom Weiner’s a longtime fan.
While shooting the music video for “Little Queen of New Orleans,” Weiner tried to get Freedia to be in the video, but wasn’t able to connect. Now, they share a manager at Midcitizen in New Orleans, and Weiner interviewed Freedia for his new radio show, Connie Club.
“We got together and I said, ‘Do you want to do a song together?’ So Freedia was like, ‘Alright, let’s do it,’” Weiner remembers. “We did a song of hers called ‘I Heard.’ I heard you were looking for me. I played piano and she was rapping on the verses, and it felt really cool. At the end, Freedia was like, ‘God, I’d love to have piano on stage, it sounds so good.’ So I said, ‘Let’s do some shows together,’ and then it turned into, ‘Why don’t we do a whole tour together?’”
The Savannah stop is the third of the tour and happens right on Pride and Halloween weekend, which Weiner knows will be a blast, especially with such a unique bill bringing two sets of fans together.
“The beauty of it is that we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, and we have a very interesting weird crowd, and we’re sort of an outlier for what is cool in rock ‘n’ roll these days,” Weiner says. “And Freedia is an interesting mix of sounds, and an interesting mix of people at her shows. She is iconic in a lot of ways, but is also kind of an outlier in the hip-hop world. I’m excited to bring all these people into the same room that might not otherwise be in the same room.”