I got up this morning pretty late; I couldn't sleep past 8am if I tried. I dragged my butt out of bed as late as possible. I made a pot of coffee, got the paper and went to the iPod. I had to validate a hunch. I found The Souvenirs and pushed play...yep, confirmed. Lucky and his band are still playing my favorite music.
I have a lot of favorites; The Black Crabs, Roy Kay, especially the 1Uppers (if they would only play a gig or two) and of course Blvd. Park and The Barn Door Slammers...but Lucky has a special way with me.
All right, I have a problem that is fast becoming a major obsession. I was at Slim's at 9pm, I left at 12:30, I am here documenting it on a Sunday. I do this every Friday and Saturday night. I am also a man of ritual; I have a route to each venue that I drive every time. I go to the same bars and sit in the same place.
Tonight it was Slim's to see The Souvenirs and The Outlaws; I-5 to Airport Way, south to Georgetown and over to 1st. Park on the side street, pay my dues and make my way to a seat. I always look for a seat I can also stand at; I like to move. At Slim's I sit at the end of the bar, next to the ATM. Slim's is a good place to see live music and this spot is good because I am close to the sound board and the taps. Being a big guy I don't like to block anybody's view so standing back in the corner is the perfect place. If you come to Slim's for a show and see a big guy hugging the cash machine, that's me.
The Outlaws were on when I walked in. The music at Slim's starts promptly at 9, the bands start at Darrell's around 9:30 unless there is a special event; each venue has their own ritual just like me. I do hate missing anything though, I kicked myself for coming in late.
The good news was that this group of artists were the real thing. Right away I noticed that there were several members of the Souvenirs in the Outlaws. Randy who plays pedal-steel was at play on the far left, their drummer (sorry no name at this time) was at working the back and Lucky was playing guitar in the back next to him.
The Outlaws were fronted by a tall gent with a great voice, I couldn't find any info on them as a band, not on Facebook or MySpace. I imagine that they are a collection of friends who love to play. They bill themselves as a Waylon Jennings Tribute band; playing covers of the master. The were great; besides the aforementioned members of the Souvenirs there was a female playing acoustic guitar with beautiful vocals, a young looking dude rocking the bass, and another great musician on keyboards. I really liked the addition of the keyboard to this country band. They made a good mix and the music was the best; sounded just like Waylon to me. I was sad to see them leave after only one hour.
Editors note 6-14-12, Here is the full line-up for the Outlaws: Jeremy
Manley, Liz Herrin, Aaron Starkey, Mike Jochum, Jon Hyde, Ty Baille,
Terry Mattson, Perry Morgan, Justin Cronk, Jordan Vestal and Kim Field.
I am sorry I don't have any links, maybe I will get one that I can add later...
After a brief break Lucky and The Souvenirs came on stage, well most came back on stage. The basist was all smiles as he mounted up, he always plays with a lot of energy.
I have seen Lucky a few times before, as I said in my opening, I love this band. Since I really just got started seeing live music again after many years of sitting at home, I was not familiar with his history. My friend Leon (Doctor of proctology, KEXP 90.3 FM 6-9pm Fridays) told me he had been around for a while, paid his dues and has reasons to write such tear-jerker tunes.
I saw Lucky and the boys for the first time at The Rockabilly Ball last year, an event organized by Leon. I loved them, bought their CD and have been a big fan since. Leon enlisted Don Slack (Swinging Doors 90.3 KEXP 6-9pm Thursdays) to find the talent for the Friday Country evening (there are 3 nights of music). Don did a great job of lining up the bands. I thought that Nikki Lane, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Knut Bell and the Blue Collars and then Lucky was an inspired bill. I purchased the CD's from every band and have listened to them ad-nauseum.
Lucky has such a smooth voice, add the killer band and you have magic. Last night he really had the mojo; introducing tunes soon to be on his new cd. I am used to his country and country/rock music, but I thought his new stuff was more rock/country.
Now this may be a function of Randy's guitar. He played the pedal-steel during The Outlaws set and for the first 4 or 5 tunes of The Souvenirs first set. Of course the steely is always going to affect the sound of the band, they produce such a distinctive twang. He switched to his solid body guitar and they played more of a rock set.
Maybe just my ear, but I think they are broadening their musical horizons. I liked everything I heard. I am looking forward to the new release.
The crowd was good, a lot of folks dancing, slurping brew and spooning chile. I saw Roy Kay in the audience along with another local musician. There was a lot of hooting and hollering; a good time was had by all.
The Souvenirs played a good long set mixing the new with some familiar tunes off the first CD. He has a great stage presence; classic good looks and stellar guitar work. He surrounds himself with talented musicians.
The bass guitarist is a gas to watch and hear; he plays a mean guitar and sings vocals. This guy is constantly moving; smiling and mugging with his buds in the crowd. I love to watch artist having fun.
The drummer is steady and creative banging out original beats for this great band. He was back there for 4 hours last night; strong work.
I talked about Randy, I love his steel work but any guitar he touches bends to his will. He calmly produces beautiful music out of his instrument of choice. I will never get sick of watching him perform.
Here is a link to their site: http://www.myspace.com/souvenirstheband
They took a short break and came back with renewed vigor for a second set. I made it past midnight but I was failing; I danced all night and my feet were screaming. I left with them still on stage, that is they way I want to remember them.; rocking. I am looking forward to the new CD.
My advice; see Lucky, Roy or any other band in their natural habitat, at a club. Not only is it inexpensive; but you get to enjoy adult beverages while you listen to live music. You could even, gulp...dance.
If you have any comments or information to help me fill in the blanks I would appreciate it. If there is something inaccurate I would love to correct.