Red Rooster - I saw this band once before at this same club and opening for this same band. I enjoyed both bands and wanted to see if much had changed since then. One big change here, as their accordion player/second vocalist did not make the train, so they were playing as a four-piece. They also had some trumpet and keyboards last time. In the end, that just left more room for Jay Erickson's vocals and allowed listeners to focus on the solid Americana songwriting. The rhythm section was solid and there was plenty of room for the banjo to carry the songs and give some creative breaks. They did a couple of covers amidst a nice full set of original songs. The crowd started small tonight and grew steadily during the set and was won over by the quality of this band. Hopefully more people will discover this band's quality effort in a very accessible musical form.
Little Bigheart & the Wilderbeast - I had my choice of four shows tonight. Three of the shows featured bands I have seen twice before. I chose this show tonight for a few reasons, one of which was a personal note sent to me by the band. HINT--simple networking is a great marketing tool, folks. It is a tough business out there. Anyway, I was anxious to see how this four-piece was doing as it has been a while and they seem to be gigging pretty regularly in the area. They have impressed me since the first show and they did again tonight. If anything, they have even more confidence and strength in their execution. The music has always been somewhere between decent and very good. They play in a progressive style going back to days of bands that existed well before any of these guys were born. Prog is getting a better rap these days as people have come to understand it is not all about Yes, ELP, and the other bands that people like to make fun of. I am not sure what these guys listen to and will probably ask some day, but it is more fun to speculate. I hear some sort of Ground Hogs/Keef Hartley/Clark-Hutchinson sort of thing going which means there is a little bit of guitar-rock going on with a touch of psyche. At times, I heard an Eric Bell led Thin Lizzy (as opposed to Gorham/Robertson although the two guitarists here did do some double leads briefly). But I am showing my UK bias here, so for American influences? Oh, maybe Major Arcana, Gye Whiz, I am not sure. I just know it is fun to name obscure bands that this band has never even listened to, although some of my readers certainly have. But enough of those games. This band is good, getting better and hopefully will be playing their way into being a good draw for the local DC music scene and beyond. Do check them out some time.
Quote of the night: From the exchange between me and door lady tonight:
"Who are you hear to see?"
"Well, I have to put one down."
"Well, the headliner did invite me to the show..."
Well, not OK actually. While I sympathize with the situation, it is not my responsibility to help this club (or the DC9) figure out how to allocate the small pool of money they take in. And if I know both bands and want to see both bands, then maybe these clubs should learn how to work with fractions like halves (I think they did once at DC9). I think we all learned fractions in 4th Grade. I remember one time that I could not even name a band I was seeing, as I just made a note on my calendar for a show I had researched three weeks earlier. So in future, you will get one answer from me and that is it.