With a seasoned cool, classic noir haberdashery and a velvety voice, Big Sandy commandeered the SS Abilene and positively rocked all souls on deck Tuesday night, October 2.
Along with his Fly-Rite Boys, Sandy ran a nice cross-section review of his lengthy catalogue, from the debut "Fly-Rite With..." to the bust-out Hightone Records smash hit "Jumpin' From Six to Six." The kids went wild as the band honored all requests, some even preemptively. I was winding up to yell "Miss Tracy" and the band was already kicking it off.
It's simple, really; if you say it's punk rock, it ain't punk rock. It's like shouting to the world that you've taken a vow of silence. Sure, Cleveland-based Rocket From The Tombs came and went in an explosion of brutal rock 'n' roll a few years before the punk-rock moniker was getting thrown around, but its influence, and the influence of musical offspring Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys, helped shape a lot of bands that were considered punk. But would it be antithetical to say so?
Who cares? It sounds good, and it sounded good at Lovin' Cup Friday night as the band --- featuring original members, singer David Thomas and bassist Craig Bell --- played virtually everything from its catalogue and songs made popular by its offshoots. Between non-discrete nips from his flask, Thomas wailed nasally on cuts like "Ain't It Fun" and "Sonic Reducer." The overall sound came blasting out of the front end in a solid fury for the 100 or so faithful waiting for the benediction.
Mofo's guitarist Gary Siperko ---one of the three newbies in the current line-up --- added an incredible thrash, slash, and crash, culminating with lead vocals on "Strychnine." Very punk rock... or not.
Saturday night, New Jersey's blues guitar master, Billy Hector, had the packed Dinosaur percolating as he bent, stretched, goosed, and burned the blues with a set full of hot-rodded sonics, arrangements, and lyrics. Hector and his trio took whole sets of lyrics like Bo Diddley's "I Can Tell" and plugged them into a completely different song style. The best example was that while covering Hendrix's "Hey Joe," he fleshed out the conversation between the narrator and Joe, calling him an "asshole since second grade." I laughed my head off.