Monday, April 12, 2010

Cowtown Round & Dan Dougan's Listening Hours

Most Mondays at Rumba Cafe you will find an amazing songwriter round..I saw most because every once in a while a traveling band is coming through that needs a gig and the round is either moved to after the show or does not happen. Regardless, check the Cowtown Round out where Jason Quicksall and Jesse Henry (of the Spikedrivers, Royal Tycoons, and a new un-named band..I'll get to that in a minute) play host to one other songwriter either local, or traveling through. The three songwriters all sit on stage and play in a round one after another. The night is always amazing with Jason bringing is sometimes quirky, jazzy, pop, folk singer songwriter tunes and Jesse with his whiskey infused, Arlo Guthrie tinged, talkin' blues, monster truck folk rock...ha. I hate describing music in one word or genre so I choose a lot of words. Point being Jesse and Jason are two of the most talented songwriters in town that I know and it is a treat to see both of them every week (if I can make it) and then add a third songwtier and ya got magic, and usually that third is always awesome too. Tonight it was Micah Schnabel from Two Cow Garage. Two Cow has been around for about 9 years and is one of those bands that just tours a ton, which is so awesome to me. A band that makes you want to kick yourself in the butt and just get on the road and do it. According to Wikipedia Two Cow has clocked over 300,000 miles on the road, wow. I will talk more about Micah when I post the video of him. Oh I said I'd talk about Jesse's new band. So I had a gig postponed (when does that happen?) on Thursday and was able to go out to Dan Dougan's Listening Hour at Gateway Film Center. Originally Dan Dougan, former owner of Little Brothers (RIP) ran this acoustic night at Bristol, apparently Bristol is retarted and did not want this at their bar, or it just was not the right fit, who knows...anyway the Gateway is amazing. A room that fits maybe 35 seated is the scene for the Thursday night "half un-plugged" night. Performers sing not into stage mics but very nice mics (cardio condensers? perhaps?) and basically play all acoustic, when I watched Larry Cook on bass did plug in to a small amp. Megan Palmer played a great first set with Larry on bass, Jimmy Castoe on drums (love him), Jen Miller sang back up on a few, and Jesse Henry played and sang as well. Up next was...well Jesse Henry and his new band which is un-named so far. Caleb Powers on mando and guitar, Jake Young on banjo, Steve Moeller on dobro, and Chris (insert last name..sorry) on bass. More of a bluegrass sound than I have ever heard Jesse, this ensemble provides a warm bed for Jesse's songs to rest upon. Tasteful, good harmonies, and they allow Jesse to shine without overpowering. Good stuff. Dan Dougan is a great guy too by the way, I wasn't sure if I had met him before but he is just a super nice guy, I asked him if Andy and I could play the listening hours and he was enthusiastic in saying yes so look fort hat in June. Below is the video of Jason at this weeks Cowtown Round with Theo backing him up, more Cowtown videos soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicago, return to Ruby's, where am I?

We just got back from a gig in Chicago on Sunday, we being the Andy Shaw Band. A place called The Horseshoe was the venue and Keith Moody and his band played alternating sets with us. We had a great time and Chicago was very welcoming. Fortunately we got in on Friday night (played Saturday) so we got to check out some of the music scene there like a local band called Waterstreet who are friends of Theo's. Playing covers such as the Raconteurs "The Level" and Radiohead's "15 Step" the guys had chops. They played mostly originals with a style that ranged from AC/DC hardcore rock and roll to Queen like harmonies to Zeppelin hip shaking rock with booming Bonham drums. I enjoyed their set and thought the guys were super talented, especially the guitar player on the right..just figured out his name is Joe who was the one that sang lead only some of the time. He did a song at the end that was real slow but still rocked and it was just a beautiful song. Check them out here. We checked out a reggae club called the Wild Hare and if someone could tell me who we saw, that would be cool cuz I could not understand a word the lead singer said. That being said, you know he was playing some authentic music. I was a bit dissapointed because there was absolutely no bass player or guitar player, or really keyboard player. There was a guy on keyboards that kind of played but mostly hit a small box I assume was controlling all the pre-recorded bass and other parts. The drummer chick was rocking with lead vocals on some tunes and drums on all (obviously) and the lead singer was good as well. Our friend Genean Grantham of Greenleif and Burning River Band fame came along with use and having been to Jamaica said that the set was pretty authentic even with the pre-recorded parts. Good times in Chicago, hit up some deep dish, got to see my aunt and uncle (thanks for allowing us to crash and the amazing breakfast!) and saw some cool bands.

Wednesday ASB is returning to Ruby Tuesday Live for the first time since our departure from the regular Monday gig. We are playing with Keith Moody (played with him in Chicago) out of Nashville and with G. Finesse and the N.S. who recently took over the Wednesday spot held down by the Floorwalkers. I absolutely love Tony's (G. Finesse) style and wish him well in taking over the spot, good times will be had tomorrow night for sure.

Friday we play at Oldfield's on High bringing back our good friends from Michigan Banana Convention to C-Bus, they are a sight (and sound) to see (and hear) hope to see some people out to that show for sure.

In other news, I am finishing up the Duets album (yet to be named) and just tying up lots of loose ends with that, getting songwriters together is like pulling teeth and with my schedule it is even harder. Hopefully this week Caleb and I will finish our song and Joey Gardina and I will get ours done Sunday. Phew...catching up on everything is making me dizzy.