The visual comparisons between “Gris-Gris” architect Dr. John and Georgia-born Victor Wainwright are easy to make. They’re both Southern-steered piano players. They each have scraggily beards, wear cool hats, and could understandably be the inspiration for a Muppet (although only the former has that distinction).
But it’s in the their performances—as musicians that absolutely demand your attention—that the comparisons make a modicum of sense. Throughout his more than 10 years on the club circuit, the soulful Wainwright has made his name on the stage, traversing through blues and roots music from a foundation of boogie with a wild exuberance and, like the good Dr., vibrant execution.
Whether solo, with the WildRoots, Southern Hospitality or his latest collaborative players, The Train, the man known as the “Piana from Savannah” has specialized in the unhinged presence connected with the character of some the greatest artists to approach the keys. And celebrated popularly, on Billboard charts and with honors from the annual Blues Music Awards for Entertainer (2016) and Piano Player (2017) of the Year, that character continues to resonate.
Victor Wainwright: 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) as part of the "Howlin' at the Tralf" concert series. Doors are at 6 p.m. Tickets are $19 in advance, $22 day of show (box office, Ticketmaster).