Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Punknecks, the Sin Eaters, Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, El Maldonado at the Dive Bar, Wednesday Feb 8, 2017

I've been wanting to catch the Punknecks every time they've come through town, but circumstances did not allow until now. Since Melanie and the Midnite Marauders were added to the bill, that got us out on a week night to break up the work drudgery and inject a bit of mid-week fun.

Opening up the eve was El Maldonado, a former folk/rocker (I saw him in some incarnation previously here at the Dive Bar) now doing banjo-driven gypsy folk punk songs sung mainly in Russian (I believe)! Certainly unique to this town, not what you would expect from a banjo-carrying youngster in this day of bluegrass revival and his upbeat tunes got a great response from the early crowd!

Melanie and the Midnite Marauders went on next and, obviously, I could not take any pix of ourselves, but we had a good time serenading the folks with our brand of high-energy honky-tonk!

(thanks to Wade Braggs for the MMM pix!)

Then we got the debut of the Sin Eaters, which is basically one of my fave local bands, the Lucky Cheats, but with stand-up bassist Chris Davis replacing electric bassist Luke. The dynamics have naturally changed as Luke used to split the lead vocal duties with harp-master Jeffrey, but Jeffrey is more than capable on his own and guitar whiz Wade takes over now'n'again, as well. They're putting their own spin on blues classics like "Skinny Woman", "King Bee", - now a super-heavy, Jeff Beck Group-ish tour de force - "Catfish Blues" and more. There was at least one original, that borrowed a bit from Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You", and the band specializes in dynamics and excellent musicianship. They closed with a stompin' "Rollin'n'Tumblin'" with Wade on his old lap steel guitar. Great debut for this line-up and I'm looking forward to seeing what they morph into!

Polly and Jason Punkneck couldn't have been sweeter people - friendly and complimentary to all of the other bands - and they gave their all to the sparse, late night, Wednesday crowd. Self described as Americana/punk/country, the duo performs in various incarnations, though this time out Jason was on acoustic guitar and vocals, Polly on drums and vocals and they brought along electric lead/steel guitarist CB. Unfortunately, CB dominated the sound a bit too much, drowning out the acoustic rather than interacting with it, which kind of took away a bit of the song structure. But, I dug their style and their vocals and I hope that they'll return soon for another stab at conquering Vegas!

As always, thanks to the Dive Bar, Nate, Angie, John and the bartenders for another fun night of music'n'drinkin'!