So, if you are a regular reader of this site, then you know I am not lacking in love for the Brothers Braun. And it having been three months since the last show, I was definitely overdue. Hello Charlotte and Raleigh, where Reckless Kelly and Micky & the Motorcars made stops on their Southeast tour playing the Neighborhood Theatre and Lincoln Theatre respectively.
With well over a dozen albums between them, both bands have plenty of material choose from; and that they did, playing a mix of songs old and new. The Motorcars opened Sunday's set with "Naive" mixing in "The Band Song," with "Hearts From Above," "Seashell" and "Ain't In It For The Money," among others. Micky got a break while Gary took lead vocals on "Twilight" and the terrific "You Led Me The Wrong Way" from their July release Hearts From Above. Energetic and enthusiastic (watch Dustin and Bobby play); it was more than obvious that they love what they do--and the crowd loved them right back.
Reckless started out their set with a cover of Springsteen's "My Love Will Not Let You Down" and played songs ranging from ballads ("Mirage") to out and out rockers ("American Blood") and some excellent covers including "Bird Dog." One of the highlights of their shows is when things quiet down a bit and Willy performs a solo, this time a stripped down version of "Romeo and Juliet," (that's right, a Dire Straits cover) and the rest of the guys join in for "Wicked Twisted Road." It's always nice to hear Cody sing, as he did on "Windfall" and a special treat to see Jay's father Tom take the lead on "Running Bear." The Motorcars returned to close out the night with "Highwayman" and Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream." Pretty perfect.
If Sunday night was almost perfect, Monday night was the definition of "killer." Both bands seemed more...amped up if you will. It's great to have a good time, drink and enjoy the show, but it adds so much more when you look up and see that the bands themselves are having a blast. The Motorcars switched up their set a bit including "Little Baby" and "Long & Lonely Highway" at a fan's request. And as with the previous night, the crowd went crazy when they played "Carolina Morning," but when RK joined them for "Nobody's Girl" the excitement was off the charts. Once again, they closed with "Stay With Me."
Reckless took the stage and just barreled through great song after great song until they reached the night's stripped down offerings which included the tremendous "Papa Was A Rodeo" and "God Forsaken Town" after which Willy laughingly commented how depressing that one was and went full throttle into, as I like to call them, "The Motorcycle Songs," "Seven Nights in Eire" and the deceptively happy Beatles tune "Run For Your Life." There was a lot more chatting with the crowd and storytelling, especially from Willy, who said he "hadn't had one of these rants in awhile" and proceeded, with humor, to compare childhoods from the past and present (and cell phone use at shows) prior to "Save Me From Myself." They closed with the Motorcars on "Ain't Living Long Like This."
It's just ridiculous how good these guys are, from the vocals to the songwriting to the musicianship. You never walk away disappointed.....well, maybe only because the show is over! Now where will I have to go in three month's time?
While many of my friends were watching the CMA Awards on television, I opted to see some real music played by some real musicians in New York City. In a stroke of incredible luck, both The Dirty River Boys and The Damn Quails were in town on the same night and for once, the timing was perfect--the shows were spaced far enough apart that one could easily make both.
The Dirty River Boys played the Mercury Lounge in NYC in support of their recent self titled release. They hit the stage at 7pm and played for only about fifty five minutes to a crowd of maybe fifty people--but they played as if there were ten times that many there. They gave an unrestrained performance that just blew me away. Talented, crazy good, versatile, incredible...take a positive adjective and insert it here....they're it. There is really is no front man in the band; they are a tight unit, trading off vocals and incorporating banjo, mandolin, cajon and upright bass for a gritty, folky, rockin' sound uniquely their own. First time live and I'm hooked, you will be too.
The Damn Quails played slightly farther uptown at Hill Country Live, a venue they played earlier in the year. Where the turnout was less than stellar then, this time was different. Word got out, about one hundred people showed up (including some DRBs) and everyone had a good time-including the band who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the welcome reception. They played songs from Down the Hatch, some terrific covers, "Ophelia" and "Easy Chair" and even a new tune. As usual, they sounded great successfully melding genres into a sound, like the DRB, that is uniquely their own. Can't wait for their return.
For more information visit their official websites:
The Dirty River Boys
The Damn Quails