Eddy Bear and the Cubs / White Mystery - The Griffin, Wednesday August 19, 2015
It takes a lot to get me out on a weeknight, but this seemed like a cool'n'different kinda night, so I made the effort and the exception, drank an energy drink and headed downtown.
Opening the evening at the Griffin were my pals, Eddy Bear and the Cubs, who I have ranted'n'raved about innumerable times on this blog. This night they were joined by special guest drummer Danny (hmm, didn't get his last night - sorry!), an old friend of guitarist Wade's, who now lives in Nashville and makes his living playing C&W, so a fitting choice!
Even though Danny was jet-lagged and only had one practice the night before, after which the guys got him liquored up, he blasted through their set of catchy country tunes like "Got You On My Mind", "Lost and Found", "Ooh Las Vegas" (practically punk rock speed!), "You Won't Let Me Love You" (nice dual guitars), "I Lie When I Drink", "Too Late For Love", "Bulge in Satan's Pants", "Hair Trigger" and more as if he had been playing them for ages.
As I always say, I'm a sucker for Wade's guitar pickin' and tonight was certainly no exception - I especially dug the blues slide break in one of the new songs, but his mix of blues and C&W licks throughout are always entertaining.
Cool set all around - invariably a good time with these cats!
I'm not sure when I first became aware of White Mystery, but I have been following them on Facebook for a while now and was impressed that the Griffin managed to bring these Chicago natives to town. A two piece brother'n'sister act made up of Alex White on guitar and lead vocals and younger brother Francis Scott Key White on drums and vocals, the duo bashes out a wall of noise sounding like a mix of the Velvets, Monks (the tom-centric drumming - only one cymbal in the entire kit - reminding me of these acts), Cramps, garage-rock-mania and 70's punk.
Alex has a wild, over-driven guitar tone - don't let the Rickenbacker fool you, this is fierce'n'heavy - with tons of feedback emanating from her Orange amp, as she sings with a surprisingly melodic voice (kinda similar to Poly Styrene at times). Francis' drumming is monstrous yet intricate, with lots of finesse'n'power'n'time changes, and he provides harmony vocals as well as counter-point singing.
I do kinda miss the bass - there was no attempt to emulate a bass, as some duos do with a signal splitter - but Alex is a fine player who comes up with interesting riffs and even manages some cool leads.
Towards the end of the set, Alex took over the drums mid-song, while still playing guitar, and Francis moved up front to sing lead for a while, before returning to the drum stool without missing a beat!
Highly entertaining and different and well worth checking out! I was intrigued enough to buy a t-shirt and CD, so support mid-west music on the road and see these siblings when you can!