Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mr. Boom Boom and Treble Boy on stage.


The Pickin' Polack "Sings"!

Saddle Tramp is the band I play guitar in and provide some vocals for. Chadillac wrote all the original songs minus 'Clear Syrup' which William wrote. To this date I have only written one song that was anything other than a goofy little ditty but for various reasons I still haven't felt like I could perform it live. This hasn't stopped me from wanting to play more shows, and music in general, than has been possible for some time now.

The band was booked to open for what was being referred to as a Czech Bluegrass band at the RedBlood Club in Deep Ellum, which contrary to popular belief isn't entirely dead yet, but still many are wondering "Who cares?". That's another story all-together. We had to cancel, and in a moment of madness I told my friend Justin who books at the club that I'd come up with something in our place. I figured I could whip up some cover songs to play with whomever I could coerce into doing so with me.

In typical fashion I waited until the last minute before putting much thought into the set. I had a handful of what I considered to be classics in a variety of genres that seemed to go together in my often-non-linear mind. There were selections from Tom T. Hall, the Yardbirds, Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, the Compulsive Gamblers, Blue Mountain, and Doug Sahm; some I knew well, some I thought I knew, and some I had no business attempting at such a late date. So two days before the show I called up Matt Powers who has a practice space and a bunch of instruments including a drum-kit which he can keep a beat on at least as well as Meg White; he was stoked.

We met the night before the show and with the aid of some Tecate hammered out the set. We were scared at first but things began to gell quickly...either that or the beer kicked in but we were making progress. We decided we'd better meet there again the next night before the show to run through it one more time which we did. There was a respectable crowd for a Tuesday night gig in barely-breathing Ellum which I credit to loyal friends(whom I wanted to keep this secret from initially) and the headliners Austin Lucas and the Pressmen. After a little Irish courage we took to the stage and it was fun and apparently "a lot better than we thought it would be" so I'm happy.

Voiceless Youth was next and he was a train-hopping young man with an acoustic guitar singing what I would call punk-folk. (really folk in style but a punky look and spirit if you will). He was pretty entertaining! The headliners were up next and I could tell be their warm-up/tune-up that they were REALLY professional. Turns out that Austin is an American living in the Czech Republic and his band is mostly Scottish but hey close enough, right? I guess some of those cats are from hardcore(or something similar) band Oi Polloi. I could only stay to hear the first few songs but they play soulful, melodic, passionate and beautiful traditional bluegrass that is slower than what one would typically think of as bluegrass. These guys are good and I even bought a cd and a 45. I feel lucky to have been on the bill with these guys and I hope they come back.