Watching the news, the summer doldrums seems to be hitting all around the country and all around the world -- Thank goodness we've got our live music out on the SCENE! Our schedule was light this month and each stop notable. Let's roll...
COZY HANGOUTS - We've several open mics on the SCENE and this month, want to mention two of these at the Signature Bistro and Amadeus. These class venues offer sane refuge for those wanting to decompress while enjoying fine dining & conversation with friends. David Schwope is featuring a Tuesday night Acoustic Showcase at the Showcase Bistro. Favoring acoustic instruments, amplification isn't really needed at this cozy Seabrook nook and usually by the end of the evenings, patron sing-a-longs are the norm--Not exactly the kinds you have at classic Irish Pubs but in a Texas Gulf Coast flavor with Buffet, Clapton, the Eagles (you get the slant) and every bit as fun. The evening we stopped in, Rick Valente was in the house. It's been over a year since we've caught Rick and were delighted catching some of his new creations--May we recommend David's Acoustic Showcase and the Signature Bistro?
SO IT'S A MONDAY - You're a millionaire and just watched on the tube that they want to raise your taxes... Or not, it doesn't matter because it's a great time to do what other smart Clear Lake SCENE folks do and head to Amadeus for Monday Night Football, cool cocktails, fun conversation with friends and a close dance or three. Abel Salazar hosts this weekly Open Mic taken things up three clicks not only with guest musicians (we caught Bob fresh from his recent tour of New York City) but also playing along for you singers without the TelePrompter. Pretty cool, eh? Got that old number you're itching to sing out? Check with Abel at Amadeus on Monday nights--It's likely in his repertoire.
FOLLOW UP & ERRATA - We spotted Tommy Dardar at Katie's this month and followed up with how he's doing. "Fine Thanks!", he says, "...was able to use the money from the last benefit to square things away and ready to move on to what's next". Nice! While hanging out and enjoying the set, we found out we goofed last issue -- Word is it was KEVIN GATES, who seasoned up that out-of-this-world melt-in-your-mouth brisket. My apologies for this mistake and our gratitude for the out of body culinary experience. Folks, if you're at a benefit and hear that Mr. Gates is in on the brisket, GO FOR IT!!!
HOW DO THEY KEEP DOING IT? - At Dempsey's that is. Practically every time we drop in, John and the gang have got something totally different going on. Last month, John was having his 29th birthday celebration with Beastie Boy's tribute band, Rhymin & Stealin on stage. Once again, another super fun night with a super crowd -- Cheers to John and to another 29 years!
PIRATE METAL - Is what it's called and it's killer! Several of you readers have commented favorably on our recent Celtic Rock coverage -- The Blaggards and The Dead Rabbits (Union Tavern & Dempsey's) to be exact. Twirl up the wit & frenzy dial a couple spins and you have what is called Pirate Metal. This month, Alestorm (all the way from Scotland) came to the Scout Bar and showed us how it's done, which is waaaaaay beyond nitty, witty and gritty and well into the zone which music lovers calls "fun", and "fun" is good... Cheers!!!
THREE'PEAT- Okay, we've all been to Sherlock's over the years and we know they're always good for an evening of quality spirits and music. Think of how many groups you recall booked there three consecutive nights? Yup, not too many. Rat Ranch has , you were there and so were we. Good choice, folks -- You had a great evening...
THREE YEARS AGO -- When I first covered the live music SCENE, we spotted a young local band at Scout Bar nothing short of a handful to snap on stage--High energy they were. We caught up with From Guts To Glory at their CD release show this month at the Houston House of Blues along with 600+ area fans and local opening acts including Beacons Ablaze (a fun loving young high energy band you need to watch for), Rainchild, I.D.R., and The Last Place You Look (who this year got to open at the 94.5FM Buzzfest). Chatting with Jeremy, "Putting together this album was lots of fun, and we really learned a lot with our first rate producers (at I-10 Records) and A.D. at The Buzz--We've improved a lot" which means folks, hang on! Find their new album, "From Guts to Glory" on iTunes and more on www.fromgutstoglory.net
A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER - Was on the agenda as Punk Star Industries and Big Ben's Tavern teamed up with 14 bands and an afternoon complete with two stages, PPV UFC, Highway Horrors Car display, plenty of parking, plenty of good food and spirits plus a cool front to boot. The Roadhouse 146 was the first spot on the SCENE to have the Highway Horrors (Thanks, Michelle!) and these folks are a hoot! We can burn up our monthly word count on just these 14 bands so we'll make quick mention. We started with Six Gun Sound (and resonated with their song "We Know Where We Come From"), The AM Prowlers (a young Alvin band reinventing their grandparents vinyl collection from the 50's--A "good" thing...), Pub Affair (young musically talented industrial glam rock band comes to mind), The Last Hour (not often heard but great sounding group to keep an eye out for). Fresa & A Good Job Underground (sorry guys, I'm sure you were great but had to dash offsite to pick up a friend and missed you), I.D.R. & Erase The Virus (read Rhonda Meredith for her on-the-mark write ups for these two groups), South & Melovine (the Astros needed middle inning pitchers as strong as these guys), and Dykes on Bykes (my nominees for Entourage Of The Year and Outrageous Show Of The Year). Dev Electric and From Guts To Glory closed out the ten hour music marathon in fine form leaving Clear Lake alternative rock lovers their September to Remember. Nice job! Cheers!
OUR BEST KEPT SECRET - Is upon us... Autumn is here and 'tis time to head outdoors. We checked up on two of The SCENE's larger patios, T-Bone Tom's & Jackie's Brickhouse finding SCENE readers galore. Both places were at perfect capacity ranging from couples, families and humungous Class Reunions (Cheers to the Clear Brook Class of '81). Was there any doubt? Oh yeah, the music... We caught Randy Marshall at Jackie's for the first time and enjoyed with everybody an evening of two stepping country wing--A good add to the beat. Also at Jackie's, we got to check out Madigan's new man on bass, Adrian Washburn. We will follow up with Adrian to see if he's of the Washburn guitar family but can attest he's the man for the job. While at it'll we will have to check into Dave Madigan's effects string, because we swear he sounds more EVH than EVH himself. Seriously... Can't say enough about the Madigan team (and all the bands that do likewise) for packing one the finest sound and lighting crews in the area - You can tell by watching the folks enjoying the show. Speaking of packing an able crew, we hung out with the Ezra Charles bunch at T-Bone Tom's. His CD table was looking a bit low so if you're short an album, better hurry and complete you collection. Our road trips are incomplete without Ezra in our player -- Add him to yours!
BRAND NEW DAY - Is a new song by Sheila Marshall and who can't use one? We've followed Sheila a couple years on The SCENE and this time around, she blew us away sporting her new look, her new band, her new gutsy bluesy sound, and packing the T-Bone Tom's dance floor in nothing flat. What's there more to like? How about having a Brand New Day. Catch Sheila at a show near you and score yourself one!
WINGS OVER HOUSTON - Is around the corner and we got to hop a ride with Patrick Hutchins and the Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award winners Tora, Tora, Tora. Patrick is an 8 year pilot with the group flies with father, Charles who has been with the squadron for over 35 years and owns a machine shop in La Marque since 1956. Word is this year's air show has over 50% new content making this annual event something to look forward to. We will be there!
OPEN FOR BUSINESS - What in the world? We Googled up the Cockeyed Seagull the other day and surprised to see that one of the inner loop websites reporting the place as closed. Rest assured and according to Mark, the Seagull is doing fine and in fact, wrapping up a record summer. Heads up! They're fixing to reopen their grill. Cool... This month, we caught Inside Out rocking out the Seagull stage. These cats also play at Cabo's so if your out and about and they're on stage, check them out and show them a little love -- They' good! Speaking of good...
OVER THE TOP - Was the fun and generosity at the Bay Area Turning Point's 20th birthday celebration. This event, held at the League City's Field of Dreams sports complex, checked off as a full house and the Mamba Jazz Kings was on stage. We first covered the Mamba Jazz Kings at a benefit fund raiser so it was no surprise seeing them here. They'll be at Jackie's Brickhouse this upcoming month and we can tell you already this will be a fun show. Al Saylor pulled off one of the bestest live auctions we've witnessed in years raising money from the widest range of supporters we've ever seen. We took time to chat with BATP's founder and heard accounts about the initial years, that the community expressed BATP was not needed in the area -- And hold no doubt the early day founders didn't listen. Cheers and all the Best to BATP!