I came into work this morning a little later and a little slower than usual. We all know what that's like. The reason this time is the WAMA Crosstown Jam.
Last night was my first trip to Whitey's. It's a nice place. It sort of reminds me of Tornado Alley. Though the dance floor's tile is the same tile throughout the building. And the sound isn't as good, I think they were using the same setup that Bill Kirchen uses for his regular open mic's. A more permanent installation might help, but I'm not sure how much.
First off were the Hula Monsters. If you haven't seen them before, the best description I can come up with is 'Hawaiian swing'... sometimes corny, but always fun. This show in particular the guitarist (Tom Mitchell) and pedal steel (Dave Giegerich) reminded me of the Danny Gatton/Buddy Emmons pairing.
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer were the only folks I hadn't seen before. Not surprising, they don't do 'bar gigs'. They are a old time country/folk duo. There was some difficulty micing the banjo on the first song, and Cathy Fink was strumming it so hard it was being pulled out of tune. So the banjo was given up for the guitar. It was great, and certainly a departure from what preceded and what followed...
Was former Nighthawk guitarist Danny Morris. Danny's music spanned the range from electrified western swing to blues to rapid fire Dick Dale Surf. His version of Misrolou was dead on. An insturmental of 'I Only Have Eyes for You' was an unsuccesful attempt to get some folks dancing, but cool all the same. And he ended with the raunchy joke infused 'Garbage Man'.
So up strode the Grandsons. They knocked the crowd out with their version of Roots Rock... swing tunes, folk favorites, and even a yodeling polka. With Chris Watling's incomprable tenor & baritone sax work... It was a cool set.
Last up was host for the evening, Bill Kirchen, and his band too much fun. Bill only got a couple tunes in before calling up the 'Grand Horns' (Chris Watling and Alan MacEwen). It wasn't long before Danny Morris joined the stage and the Hula Monster's Mark Noone on bass. By 1am, Bill brought the band to his wandering song 'Milk Cow Blues'. The band was 10 members strong featuring folks from the Hula Monsters, Grandsons, and Danny Morris' band. It was a great night. Thanks WAMA.
I saw a half dozen familiar faces. Granted, it was a rainy Tuesday and there was plenty other stuff going on, but to me this show was a no-brainer. I expected more of us. Tonight at Lewies anyone?