Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Swank Bastards, the Bitters, the Swamp Gospel, the Gentlemen of Four Outs and Franks & Deans at the Double Down, Friday June 12

When the Swank Bastards mainman, guitarist Jesse Del Quadro, decides to throw a birthday bash for himself, where else would he have it, other than at the Bastards' home-away-from-home, the Happiest Place on Earth, the Double Down Saloon?


The Swank Bastards had to open the night, as Jesse planned (and, as best as I could tell, succeeded) in getting far too wasted to play once the night really got underway. Of course, plenty of people were out to cheer and dance to (and dance along with Ivanna Blaze) the Bastards' own brand of sizzlin' surf rock'n'roll, highlighted by Jesse's speedy riffs, Jeff Murphy's rumblin' bass runs and not one, not two, but three of the SB's rockin' drummers: Mark Baertschi, Courtney Carroll and Gerry "Turbo" Proctor! Fun set from the best instro band in town!

Following the Bastards, Jeff moved from bass to guitar to perform a set with the Bitters, his Zappa/ progressive/metal/punk/everything'n'the-kitchen-sink instrumental group. Crazy good players and the audience dug the heck outta them!

I was honored to be asked to play in two different bands, this evening, and the Swamp Gospel was joined by Jesse and his birthday balloon as he  had his demons exorcised during our take on Alex Harvey's "Faith Healer".

(SG photo by Derek Decker)

Then, the Gentlemen of Four Outs received a special guest appearance by a secret member of Franks and Deans, helping drummer Clay Heximer handle his duties (or something).

Franks and Deans followed with a particularly strong'n'tight set of punk rock versions of early rock'n'roll, big band, Rat Pack and various other tunes. They also had an attractive young burlesque lady (sorry that I didn't get her name and sorry that my photos of the band did not turn out) helping out their visuals this evening.

There was more to come after that but it was already far too late and far too many drinks but a successful celebration of one's birth if there ever was one!