Davey Brown - Davey Brown is with his full band tonight, emitting comfortable Americana folk-rock crossed with some bar-room blues. He sings and plays a gutsy acoustic guitar in front of drums, bass, and a steel guitar. The steel guitar is fascinating as it does the usual accompaniment much of the time, but often wails away like a lead guitarist stomping all over everything in a very fun manner. Those are the needed moments that help propel music away from the expected norms. The band left Davey Brown onstage to do one solo number which was pretty excellent until the twang of a broken string brought things to a halt. But he soldiered on for one more verse and once again proved himself and his band a worthy addition to the DC scene.
Black Checker - Alright, I have seen these guys a bunch lately, which means that they are paying their dues, working the stages, and hopefully having plenty of fun. So the question is whether or not there are signs of progress. Well, even after three or four viewings, I am not sure I can conclude whether it is their improvement or my comfort level with their songs. I would guess it is both as their power pop/punk sound continues to impress with its sharp attack. There are also some ska-esque moves that add some interesting rhythms to the pop hooks. Basically, this is a fun band that is going over well with audiences more and more. Proven again tonight with a good crowd on hand.
Vinyl Side - Second time for around for me seeing this offshoot of the Killer Balloons (previous review here). They greet me with a roar of guitar chords that work off of the Stiff Little Fingers riff in "Suspect Device", which is about as good as opening as you would want in a rock band. The drumming is crisp, bass lines pulsating, keyboards countering, guitars roaring, and vocals soaring. They play loud and classic rock that has no trouble fitting into anything even slightly heavy on the indie scene. It is vibrant music that really strikes a chord with someone like myself who grew up on these sounds. A few songs lapse into ordinary terrain, but when they connect, they do so in a big way. They finished up in 35 minutes and pulled together a night of fine local music with three distinct styles that easily worked on the same stage.
Quote of the Night: From Davey Brown to me... "Every time you see me, it's a bad gig."
Nah, just the last song, and those things happen.