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

Monday, December 14, 2009

Concert review - Eric McFadden Trio

13 December 2009 (Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern, Keystone CO)
There's always more sound than three instruments should be making. Some of that is due to Eric's speed on the guitar, trilling through the gypsy minor scales he favors. There's also the layering of looped bass parts that James builds. And Jeff's tight syncopation on the drums. Or it might just be the shear volume of these three guys assaulting their instruments and creating barely controlled mayhem.

The Eric McFadden Trio brings so much pent up energy to the stage, every show is a cathartic release. Last night, their inspiration may have been the GPS leading them on a merry chase before getting them to Keystone. By the end of the night, none of that mattered anymore.

The show was split into two sets, with lots of material from their latest album, Delicate Thing. The first set also included not one, but two Tom Waits covers (Jockey Full of Bourbon and Tango 'Til They're Sore). The progression from One Bad Reason to Been So High and then to Catch a Liar was draining: constant driving beats and and thrashing guitar.

The second set shifted gears a bit, with a richer mix of styles and tempos. Eric riffed of a little bit of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, which turned into a gypsy/psychedelic exchange between the bass and guitar. This all served as an intro to Put It Down, which had a host of tossed off references including P-Funk's Flashlight and Nine Inch Nails' Head Like a Hole.

Eric played a bit more gypsy classical style guitar in this set and James stretched out some bass heavy jams, looping bowed lines with some walking parts. There were plenty of high energy jams, too, like The Rise of King George II and Miranda. The high point though was an extended version of Devil Moon, which slipped through several moods before coming back to the pensive starting sound.

I'm sure the Denver show was good, but Keystone rocked and they created some new EMT fans in the mountains. Pour me some George Dickel and lets kick out the jams...

More photos at my Flickr.

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