This is a not-so-quick weekend in review.
Thursday we had a great time with Flatfoot Sam at Lewies. Sam has a great band and he belts out some great swing blues songs in a very William Clarke style. We've managed to attract a dozen or so dancers to these Thursday gigs.
Friday, I went off to a Ska show at Phantasmagoria. I missed the Sidewinders. Metro Stylee (from NYC) is a 7 piece band. They were a little on the punk side for my tastes, but once you got past that they were pretty good. Danceable? no, not really.
The local favorites, Eastern Standard Time, was up next. Where the Checkered Cabs take a lot from Motown, these folks take a more traditional ska form with hints of boogie woogie, latin, jazz, and swing. They put on a great show and the music was very danceable. The band is ten members strong including 6 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, an alto & bari sax (complete with Chris Watling lookalike). The whole band is very talented, particularly their keyboard player. He is probably one of the best in the area. The finale was phenominal... I never knew an upright bass sounded so tinny when struck with a drumstick.
Delayed for some reason was DC Riot Squad. Based purely on the name, I expected a punk-like band. Well, I was wrong. The band was what I would call contemporary ska. The band leader appears to be Jamaician. It was the kind of ska that avoided the punk influences but added rap/hip-hop. It wasn't something I'd seen before in the DC ska scene, but you can hear coming from WPFW's Caribbeana show. They were definitely worth checking out.
Saturday featured the Hula Monsters at Glen Echo. It was a good show, but lightly attended. And the parks department didn't let them sell their Hawaiian shirts.
Jane Gorbity had suggested the Dale Watson show at the Iota for Easter Sunday. So I decided to check him out. This quartet is the Country analog to the Nighthawks. They played no non-sense straight ahead country music, no flash, just good music. And they've been doing it for a while. The band was very tight and Dale Watson has a huge baritone voice. In between songs, and even mid-song, we were treated to a sermon by Rev. Watson. He preached the gospel of the great old country legends and decrying the current crop of bubble-gum country.
Perhaps the best indication of this man's influence is to list some familar faces in the audience. The whole of Ruthie and the Wranglers were there along with Janie Wilson and John P. Strohm's band (they'd played there on Saturday). It was a really good show, lots of two-steps and swing tunes, but no dancers ventured onto the concrete floor. Most of the last set was a tribute to the 'living legends' of country music. Dale implored us to go see them before they are gone.
Sounds like good advice. Go see the 'Living Legends' before they are gone... reguardless of genre.