Sunday, October 26, 2014

Whitey Morgan & the 78s - The Highballers --Gypsy Sally's - Oct 25 2014

The Highballers - It's been a long time since I've seen one of the finest area honkytonk, country & WESTERN bands, and it's high time I see them at Gypsy Sally's, one of their favorite venues. There is a big crowd in the sizable room and they all are digging into this easily digestible music. The band employs loads of skill and style in making this music so easy to grab on to. These all sound like classic songs (well one IS by the Bee Gees interestingly enough) with their solid backing components, along with crisp guitar leads. There are twin lead vocalists and harmonies with a male and female voice providing significant diversity. It's all done with humor and a relaxed feel good style that is perfect for a night in the clubs. They can hold their own with anyone on any stage and even have enough glitter on their guitars to work with Billy Zoom. Even if this genre is not at the top of your list (and it's not for me), you owe it to yourself to see a great band like this as they offer up great songs that link the wide array of rock'n'roll styles that hold the universe together... or just come out, let your hair down and have fun.

Whitey Morgan & the 78s - It seems like this Flint Michigan band is a hard touring outfit. That may be apparent from simple web research or a comment they made about having 'a rare four days off without a show', but is also obvious from their skills on stage. They have three guitars cooking atop of a rhythm section. One is a pedal steel, which works for me in ways that many bands fail as it compliments the sound with subtlety and style and doesn't go for any syrupy emotions. Instead, all three guitars have a strong bite as they tear into hard C+W music that probably doesn't sit too well with the mainstream crowd. You pretty much need to embrace the outlaw music to dig into this. And the large crowd tonight did all of that. Gypsy Sally's is a comfortable place, feeling like a smaller Birchmere or Hamilton, but their pattern of booking some of the finer touring and local roots bands has certainly helped bring in a good crowd like tonight.

Quote of the Night... from the Highballers' guitarist - "And now for something we hope you really like."

Rocky & Bullwinkle references will always get you extra credit points in my book.

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