Wayne Hancock, Big Sandy and the Fly Right Trio, Will and the High Rollers and the Rhyolite Sound at the Dive Bar, Tuesday Mar 14, 2017
This is a show that I was waiting for for months (or so it seemed)! What an amazing line-up at the always-fun Dive Bar!
Opening the eve was my fave local country band, the Rhyolite Sound, bringing Las Vegas the sounds of true, old school C&W. now with (reasonably) new drummer, AJ (I think - please correct me guys - you know I'm terrible with names! Good guy and great drummer!) in tow. I really dug the slow build of the intro that crested in a wild slide solo, followed by an upbeat "Got You On My Mind", cool harmonies in "Lost and Found", dual guitar riffs throughout, excellent vocal interplay between Erik's more pure vocal tones and Larry's gruffly melodic voice, brieft bass and drum solos (although Davis had some technical issues, he was still in top form on his stand-up and locked in with the drums) and closing out with the goofy crowd pleasure "I'm the Bulge in Satan's Pants" and Gram Parsons' wonderful "Ooh Las Vegas". I've said it before and I'll keep saying it - Wade is my fave local guitarist and it's always a pelasure to watch his riff away and with the rest of the talent in this group, this is a band to see!
Having never seen Will and the High Rollers before, I am under the impression that it has a revolving line-up but this evening it consisted of Will (also of the local garage rockers the Van Der Rohe) on vocals, the Delta Bombers guitarist and bassist (Gregorio and Andrew), along with Larry Reha (from the Sin Eaters and having just sang in the Rhyolite Sound) on drums. Great combo, giving a JOhnny Burnette Trio-like performance. I think a good portion of the set was originals and a number of the songs were sung in Spanish, and it was all rockin' with high energy rockabilly spirit. Will is a fun, visual frontman - and a stylish dresser - and the band powered through the songs. Always great to see Larry rockin' the drums!
I don't think I've seen a full set (though he did a special guest appearance a little while ago at Triple B) by Big Sandy since we were both living in LA, but he is still as great as ever. Excellent voice, wonderful frontman and a consummate rocker! His current Fly Right Trio is excellent - amazing, jazzy guitarist, snappy (playing and dressed) drummer and fine stand-up bass - and they bring the melodic rockabilly songs to life behind Robert. Some tunes were kinda Bobby Fuller Four-ish, filled with harmonies, and others were just damn good rockabilly numbers. They got the folks out on the dance floor and whoopin' in up and generally brought the house down! I sure hope they come back again soon!
I loved Wayne Hancock's classic country stylings the last time he played the Dive Bar and he and his top-notch band were at least as good this time (looking at my pix, it seems like everyone except maybe the bassist was the same), although it seemed to take him a couple of songs to warm up. But, the sound was pretty exceptional this evening (thanks, Mr. Kirby!) and Wayne's acoustic locked in with the stand-up bass to drive the rhythms while his two lead guitarists (one a bit more jazzy, one more rock'n'roll) and female steel player added the lead flourishes. I have really grown to love steel guitar and this woman was pretty damn noteworthy, as were both of the guitarists. They all got plenty of tine to shine as Wayne would call out solos for each of them in every songs - there was a pretty fair amount of jamming in this set, for whatever reason. Whether is was pure C&W, blues, of Hank Williams covers, Wayne's voice was in fine form and the band cooked. Great set!
This was an amazing night from start to finish and well worth the cover price! Thank you to the Dive Bar'n'Angie'n'Nate'n'John'n'whoever else for hosting such a cool time. There was a great crowd the entire time, too, so I hope we get more nights like this!