Saturday, March 1, 2014

Stone Driver - Mike Weyrauch -- Tree House Lounge - Feb 28 2014

Stone Driver - Back at the Tree House Lounge near Gallaudet University as they continue to offer solid shows featuring lots of local artists. Not only are Stone Driver local, but they are here for their debut show. Although these guys clearly have plenty of experience in other combinations as they are all proficient players and show some comfort playing off of each other tonight. There is a lot of original music, with covers scattered about. Nothing wrong with that as they played for an hour and twenty minutes over two sets, so there is room for covers. I enjoyed many of them including the Pearl Jam cut as well as the oft covered Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World". I do admit getting tired of Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" as I think I have now heard that covered more than I've heard the original.
Most importantly, Stone Driver has some good original songs to build a set from. Like any new band, they pretty much play them all and time will sharpen the best of them and add new exciting ideas. A couple of the songs could be keepers for as long as they exist, since they would be songs any touring indie rock band would be proud of. The two guitars (one acoustic) do head somewhere between indie rock and classic rock, leaning toward the latter more frequently. They remind me of a cross between Blodwyn Pig and Sugar Creek (maybe not, but I have been dying to reference this amazing band). The crowd filled much of the room and made for a great atmosphere for straight up rock music. Good debut, and you will no doubt be able to see these guys again.

Mike Weyrauch - And it is not all local, as this singer songwriter guitarist has made it down from Dover, Delaware to share his songs. Alas, some of the same issues at the bigger clubs exist here tonight in what I call Acoustic Death. That syndrome exists with an acoustic player sharing a stage with rock bands on a Friday or Saturday night with a large crowd. The symptoms are simply a loud crowd chatter making it difficult for people like me who want to lose themselves in the music. I did stay to hear a few songs and Weyrauch was a real pro pushing forward his songs. He has a lot of power in his voice and his guitarwork was also strong in a rock sense with lead runs as well as strong chord work. This allowed him to stay within if not atop the noise, and I did hear some good songwriting. Hopefully I can catch him again some time (maybe the Jammin Java on a Tuesday).

And there were two more bands for the late night crowd, but I'm still getting over my cold, so I called it a night early. But it was good to see live music succeed yet again in a location some people have yet to discover.

Quote of the Night: from an anonymous source in a dream I had the other night... "Booze: It's like a canary meal meeting a parasite."

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