Monday, September 17, 2012

Sun Blood Stories and Brother Dan @ the Red Room (9/12/12)

I was good and tired this last Wednesday evening.  I'd started a new job on Monday and been working from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the past three days.  I took Tuesday night off to catch up on some work and some rest (the latter part didn't pan out so well), but I didn't want to miss Ben Kirby a.k.a. Sun Blood Stories play the Red Room with a full band.

There were about twenty folks there when I arrived around 8.  By the time that the show began, that number had more than doubled.  I sat at the bar, nursed a PBR and prayed to God that I could stay awake.

Sun Blood Stories played this night with a bass player, a drummer and Brother Dan a.k.a. Daniel Kerr from Atomic Mama.  They kicked things off with a SBS original and made it sound like a lost Chess single: a nice, laid-back groove carried Ben Kirby's voice along while Kerr blew some mean Otis Spann-esque harmonica licks.

After another song, Daniel Kerr took over on guitar and vocals while Kirby took the bass and the bassist played keyboard.  For the rest of the night, it went like that: Kerr and Kirby took turns on lead vocals while everybody except the drummer swapped instruments.  Between Kirby's baritone drawl/growl, Kerr's portentous, moaning tenor and their ominous, sometimes bizarre lyrics, it sounded like what you might get if Tom Waits and Robert Plant decided to throw something together.  Elegantly stinging slide guitar, eerie keyboard and Coltrane-esque saxophone conspired with slippery basslines and steadfast, restrained drumming to get the crowd moving.  All in all, I thought this well worth a little extra sleep deprivation.  Even their stiff cover of Booker T. and the MG's "Green Onions" was good fun.

You can find info on Sun Blood Stories and Brother Dan on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Wes Malvini and the Red Room.

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