In an attempt to avoid the crowds Mary Kiwi and I heralded in the New Year on New Year's Eve Eve. It was a great line up: The Preston Wayne 4, who I had been dying to see, having heard people talk of his guitar playing, then the Classic Ruins, one always should see the Ruins and then the group I can't get enough of, The Crybabies. The Crybabies have just added Aram Heller and I was dying to hear the result.
Cheryle Crane the Crybabies bass player was burning up the pixels getting some pics this night so most of the pics are hers unless noted.
The Preston Wayne 4 had a mighty sound. Wayne worships Dick Dale and plays similar agro instrumentals. Dick Dale actually signed Wayne's guitar also. I lot of people try to play like this but Wayne has it nailed down.
Next up The Classic Ruins. I have seen the Ruins perform more times than any other band by far and I love them every time. They had some new cover tunes to spice things up. Then surprise guest Pokemonoman himself raised the bar with two songs. He sang the Ruins' Geraldine I Need Money and then The Lyres' How Do You Know?.
If you are at the Kirkland you are in the vicinity of Micky Bliss. This night he was mixing with Patti Sneiderman. He can be credited with making this a most comfortable club. Members of the Western Swing group The Spurs were in the audience; Crankie-Frankie and Johnny Sciascia.
Now time for The Crybabies. Aram did such a great job in the Vatican Sex Kittens (Kenne, come back all is forgiven.) and I have missed not hearing him for a while. He came out crankin' and filling up the Crybabies' sound. The Crybabies' only have great songs. Like the early Lyres the originals and the covers fit together seamlessly.
You can't tell what's what. Artie has his own voice and a low key yet emotional singing style on stage that has come to signify the Crybabies to me. I was surprised that even with Aram playing it up that John Papas, The Babies other guitarist was of constant interest. He's got all the right chops and did a few solos that were tasteful and full of licks I would like to steal.
Joe Sheehan the drummer also has all the right moves he must have soaked up by listnening to all the right influences. Cheryle Crane is at the center of it all and is one of the few bass players I can listen to and not cringe at these days.
The night was a nice reminder of the western Mass talent we have enjoyed in Boston from the beginning of the punk era. Then it's into the new year where we know we'll see these bands again.