Spring has finally sprung and hopefully our the Gulf Coast weather we deserve will last for awhile - 8 weeks worth seems fitting...
So, based on our samplings on the crawfish front, our initial dismay with the higher prices has been pleasingly satisfied with HUMUNGOUS sized offerings places our serving, the like that actually takes a couple bites to devour, making this year's mudbug season a great time to mingle and catch up with friends, family and neighbors, yes? Which gets us to another heart of the area's fine offerings, our Live Music SCENE where our April samplings have been nothing short of fantastic! Our local artists have been at it adding new tunes, folding in new techniques, and sounding better than ever and watching you out there, know you're enjoying it too. Let's run down some of what went down in April.
FLASHBACK - To the 60's we went with Hourglass at the Cockeyed Seagull for their annual Hippie Party complete with black light posters, psychedelics, costume contest, music of the era and guest appearances by Joey Wainwright and Billy Gilbert. Lot's of new people came out for this year's party which means to me that this is definitely a cool gig going. On a side note, we reported a few months back on Billy Gilbert's return to the stage after a 20+ year hiatus and happy to report that he's reintroduced his popular Musical Chairs Band featuring different talent from the local area sitting in and performing. Decades ago, his venue was KPFT radio and these days, you can catch Billy's Musical Chairs show at a venue newer you. One is never quite sure who he will be playing with but it's a sure bet that it'll be a good show... Book 'em!
FLASHING BACK FURTHER - in the era of 80's garage band warriors was a local group by the name of Cold Feet based out of La Porte, that took the area by storm. Decades later, Cold Feet (Donny McCorquodale, David Hargrave, Danny Douglass, and Jack Horn) still play out and their shows are announced by merely word of mouth. In April, we dropped everything to catch Cold Feet at the Seabrook Community Center and enjoyed one of the strongest performances these ears have ever enjoyed, as fine as an 80 year old scotch! Cold Feet fans are amongst the best I've ever seen ranging from the ages of 2 foot tall rockers to our beloved seasoned citizens and the rest of us in between. I've always wanted to hear what this natural hall reverb place sounded like and with the mixer set up dry, the ambience at the Center was simply superb. We've simply got to figure out how to have more shows there. Opening for Cold Feet started the acoustic duo of Chris Elliott and Starr Jernigan - Arguably two from the Music Cosmo's Finest to offer each alternating licks and hits on vocals, lead, and rhythm. One things listeners like about this duo is how they play the entire set non-stop with transitions between numbers creatively crisp. That's simply one aspect... Articulate power, tightly woven and intricate synchopation, are a couple others. Book 'em....
NEW STOP ON THE BEAT - And that would be Claudio's. Lot's of familiar features greeted us there, the iced bar, the bubbling lights, murals by McClendon, and Abel Salazar on the stage. It's been almost a year since we've last enjoyed the musical offerings by this entertainment genius and was long overdue.
ECLECTIC - is a style often thought of at those inner loop hangouts so when Rob and the folks at Jackie's Brickhouse brought in 11th Hour's Shane Anthony (acoustic guitar) and Byron Roy (keyboard), and told them to go for the eclectic slant, we had to check it out... Jazzy Steely Dan playing in the wire? Check. Relaxed casual dining and good company to chat with friends? Check. Linen table clothes and candle lit tables? Hmm.... Dunno.... This *is* Jackie's Brickhouse but with the atmosphere that evening, it *could* have been. Jackie's Brickhouse, 11th Hour unplugged, week night dining entertainment. I think these folks are on to something...
LIGHTEN UP - is the idea at Cock & Bull's Comedy Night running through the spring months. We sat in on an evening of comedians from around the Houston area right here in our own Clear Lake. Chatting with them during breaks, a prevelant comment of theirs was that we have one fantastic setting at the Cock & Bull for this kind of entertainment (sometimes takes an outsider to help point these things out). As far as the entertainment goes, a good laugh has been something missing for awhile and we'll be back to get more. Also at the Cock & Bull this month, we enjoyed a relaxed Friday dinner with Wood & Wind on stage with a guest appearance by musical troubadour, Rick Valente. Ever notice how each year, Bobbie and Steve bring in new instruments into the mix? If not, we know you've noticed their play list ever expanding and as of lately, into the eclectic beat off-the-main-path materials that's captivating and pleasing to listen to. Always a good show!
CATCHING UP - we did at the 9th Annual Floyd's Parking Lot Party. We got there a late but in time to catch one of our favorite big bands, Funksion, fire things up for the packed house. With the house rocking, we took time and reacquainted with several SCENE readers we've met over the years who have attended and supported the various benefits and willing to lend a hand to those who have fallen. We've got really good people down in our parts for which we can say, we've got a good thing going. Cheers!
TOUR STOP CLEAR LAKE - Readers will recall last month, we mentioned not needing to head up to the Woodlands to see good acts as we've our reinvented Scout Bar. Word must have gotten out - We were at the Puddle of Mudd show and swear, the place was *packed* with new faces, very likely with many from the Woodlands. <vbgrin> Rules had me stopped from shooting the main attraction but we were allowed to cover the opening local act, The Last Hour. The honor of opening for a national headliner has got to be a rush for our local groups and The Last Hour took full advantage of it bringing out the fans and playing out of their skin that night. Very well done! In other Scout Bar news, the new sitting area is proving to be an excellent sports bar venue to catch the action and enjoy a fine craft beer with friends. Also, A.D. Rowntree, host of the Buzznight has been promoted making room for Karah Leigh as host of this weekly Sunday night ritual. Our appreciation and thanks to A.D. whom over the years, has promoted local Texas live music. We wish him the best and hope to cross paths with him again down the road. As for Karah, local music guardian, Roland Belmarez (who's busy mixing and mastering CDs for the upcoming Will Play For Food event) tells me that she's "AWESOME!!!". When I asked him how and what way, he smiles and says "MAN, SHE'S SIMPLY AWESOME!!!" Getting the hint, we went back to watching the shows that night and wow, they were AWESOME! The sound and lights were on track all night long and the power & energy superb. That night, we heard, Their Name was Treason (a full size band with dual power growlers), Downer (who finished early destroying their set in Keith Moon fashion) and Vanilla Sugar (who continually tests their potential each time we see them play). Scout Bar? Check and double check...
A QUICK WRAP - Which has little to do with our live music Scene but needs mention which would be for the Gritty Goddess that just went down in April. Each year, we've seen many new faces and old friends at this event and never ceased to be inspired with how these divas face the obstacles with that "uh oh" look on their face, grind their way through, stop and help each other overcome, and celebrate at the end all while having good clean fun along the way (meaning they get very very DIRTY). Seems very relevant in how all of us on the SCENE, faces challenges, helps each other, and the celebrating and fun along the way - A reason why I enjoy covering Gritty Goddess and being a part with all you readers out there in a place we call, The SCENE. All the Best & we'll see you out there!