Diablogato, Hey Zeus, Tom Baker & The Snakes
The Green Sisters
The Messaround at The Model
David Grisman/Del McCoury
The Upper Crust
Tiger Bomb, Corolla Deville, The Last Ones
Assorted Dates and Venues
Feast or Famine? Feast.
It began a week ago at the Rumble semi-final at Once. Only caught one Diablogato tune to my regret. I do love me some bari sax. Hey Zeus - a challenge to the big guy perhaps? - rocked the crap out of Once. Ken Cmar's monstrously heavy bass threats kept the rest of the randy God's in line. Tom Baker and the Snakes highlighted their new, rollicking disk, Lookout Tower. They're a magnanimous crew of local all-stars who know how to rock a bar.
On Wednesday April 19, it was The Green Sisters at PA's as part of Henry III's ongoing monthly. One of the pleasures of this round robin is you don't always know what you are going to get. The Green Sisters are a case in point. Four sisters from " a farm in central Mass" which I assume is further away than 128. Violins, upright bass, mandolin, guitar and four voices that harmonize like only family can. The do a slinky take on Walkin' After Midnight, hit on a couple of violin fueled breakdowns, throw in at least one well realized original - Build My Dreams, some Elvis and a great arrangement of All About the Bass. The family dynamics are funny and charming. The lead vocals follow the personalities and those beautiful salon quartet harmonies bob, braid and beehive through the room.
Speaking of not knowing what you'll get. Jay Allen and Justine Covault's Messaround showed up at the funky but chic Model in Allston. I hadn't been there in over twenty years. What a room. Allen, Covault and the snakeless Tom Baker did the troubadour thing. Richie Parsons was joined by Elisa Birdseye on a sweet and dark electric viola. Mr. President Kaiser assailed the challenging emotional twists of Part of the World from the Little Mermaid soundtrack.
Spent Thursday night getting schooled in bluegrass history by mandolin virtuoso and Dawg music mastermind David Grisman. He was teamed up with almost octogenarian, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys alum rhythm guitarist and high lonesome tenor Del McCoury. The single mic setup at Lexington's little jewel Cary Hall perfectly captured the easy going tone of the stories, the speed racer runs of Grisman's fingers and the keening tone of McCoury's vocals.
The Upper Crust deigned to come down from the castle to play for the hungry masses at Newbury Comics in Norwood. They were generous with their largess. No chintzy little half set, no. Full set, wigs coiffed, playing like they just got released from the Tower. In daylight. With lights on. A young lass with her dear old dad was smiling and seemed to see the enlightenment. Renaissance men indeed.
I took the horse and carriage up the north road to Beverly by the Sea and the Spotlight Tavern. The gals of Tiger Bomb made the trip down from Portland. They shock up the place with their girl group pop punk and the place started to twitch.
Corrola DeVille picked up the torch and the warmed up crowd got into the groove in front of the stage. They dug into a new slide number that cooked. Another tune made good use of the swirling flange. The Real Kids cover kicked the floor into overdrive. Lady Kenmore made a welcome appearance.
The Last Ones, another all-star crew, with Mike Quirk with a resume too long to list on bass, Dan McCormack from Lyres, etc on tight rockin' guitar, Rick Coraccio, Lyres etc, on second guitar and vocals and Jimmy Birmingham from the Real Kids on crisp d-d-drums with grab-your-attention whip crack fills brought that classic Boston sound. They rarely take it out of the practice space and that's a shame because these guys show what good breeding can do for you. Kick ass even with a short set.