(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Concert review, Eric McFadden Trio

30 December 2008, Dulcinea's 100th Monkey (Denver, CO)

First of all, you might not know about Eric McFadden Trio. They are one of my favorite bands to catch live and their CDs are every bit as enjoyable. I first discovered Eric through one of his songs on the old riffage.com site, Crucify Me. His music is a little hard to qualify - hard rock gypsy blues comes close. With some dark lyrical sensibilities reminiscent of Tom Waits, he visits the Dark Carnival and shows us around. Eric plays acoustic guitars on stage, but this is no folk act. It just lets him move from classical guitar riffs that transform into spiky, blistering leads. With Eric, I skip past envy at his playing skills and jump right to open mouthed awe. James Whiton plays the upright death machine (a minimalist electric standup bass) and I have to say that he is one of the most versatile and gifted bass players I've ever watched (ditto on the envy/awe), jumping from looped bowing to slap funk to Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Their current drummer, Doug Port is equally amazing - tight fills and great intensity.

So that's all about the band. Let's talk about the show. This was the middle date in a run of three shows in Denver. Unfortunately, it was the only one I could make. The crowd was fairly thin - I'm not sure whether that was because people were saving their energy for New Year's Eve or if they were at the Widespread Panic show. It doesn't matter because there were a number of the faithful there. The small crowd didn't deter the boys from rocking out the house, either. Before the show, James was complaining about a crushed finger on his right hand. It didn't seem to slow him down any, though. They played a typical set, with quite a few songs from the new album, Delicate Thing. Near the end of their break, the bar was playing Johnny Cash's Get Rhythm on their sound system. Eric started jamming along until they killed the CD for the second set, which just led them into playing Get Rhythm as their starter, taking it into rockabilly rollercoaster mode. Nice ride to get us moving. The band played on. And on. And on. We finally left at about 2:20 am because I had a 75 minute drive back home to Ft. Fun and they were still playing. The bar had already shut the taps and locked the doors, but EMT wasn't ready to call it a night. After they unlocked the door for us to head out, the ringing in my ears kept me warm on the cold walk to the car.

Jack straight up with an American IPA chaser. Late night, natch.

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