Monday, April 22, 2013

Screen Door Porch and Benyaro @ the Red Room (4/17/13)

Originally, I'd had Black Mountain at Neurolux marked for this night.  However, I balked at the $12 cover; as I've said, the war chest's a little bare right now.  Besides, I figured that most everybody else in town would be at that show, so I decided to check out this Red Room show instead.  Some talk I'd heard about Benyaro's impressive live act helped sway my decision as well.

There were ten people at the Red Room when I arrived.  By a quarter to midnight, that number would dwindle to five.  Being right sucks sometimes.

Benyaro opened the show.  Who says there's no such thing as multitasking?  Wyoming-based musician Ben Musser played guitar with his hands, bass drum with one foot and high-hat with the other while singing his blues and country tunes with his big, ductile voice (oh yeah, and he played harmonica too).  As if this weren't impressive enough, his originals were smart, funny and catchy enough to hold up fine next to his Blaze Foley and Etta James covers.  He wasn't as nice to Eureka, CA as he was to New Orleans, but judging from the details in the former song's lyrics, the town had it coming.

Screen Door Porch played next with Musser supporting them on drums.  You hear enough hokey, smarmy roots-related acts and the whole Americana genre starts to feel phony as a three-dollar-bill.  Then an artist or group comes along and makes it feel like the genuine coin of the realm.  This Jackson Hole, WY duo fell into the latter category.  Seadar Rose's smoky drawl and Aaron Davis's light grit and liquid slide guitar struck just the right balance of hot and cool.  Their songwriting showed enough savvy that their original about 1937 didn't sound like bullsh*t next to their Big Mama Thornton cover.  It's just too bad that more people weren't there to dance to their smooth grooves.

Betcha Black Mountain didn't have a "trumpet-kazoogle."

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