Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thee All Togethers and Fuzz Solow at the Dive Bar, Friday August 11, 2017

After a quiet, relaxing week, I was restless and ready to go out and see some live music. Luckily, a couple of my favorite locals acts were playing at one of my favorite watering holes, the Dive Bar, so Melanie and I packed up and headed out.

I've ranted'n'raved about the All Togethers and their self-described hillbilly jazz (a mix of bluegrass, folk and prohibition-era tunes) innumerable times before but for some reason it's been a while since I've seen them. Founders Ken and Cindy (mandolin and stand-up) are currently augmented by Michael and Brandon on guitars and Brenna on cello, which she wears over her shoulder so that she can move around with it!

Their set consisted of songs from their CDs, with cool interaction of their instruments and their 5 part harmony vocals. Brenna and Ken mostly provide the instrumental melody lines, with Michael and Brandon filling out some jazzy chords while Cindy holds down the fort. Highlights include Michael's "Sonata in Whiskey", which he sings, their dramatic "When the Night Comes", with its dark melody, nice solo from Michael and kind of amazing 5 part harmony acapella section, and their closer, an acoustic version of "Baba O'Reilly" with Brenna handling the violin lead and the band create an intense, rave up closing even without percussion. Always a fun time!

It has been far too long since I've seen James "Fuzz Solow" and his one man band act, so I was happy to see him on the bill. With his Strat, an octave box to give some bass tones and a stripped down drum kit, Fuzz gives a full sound of his own style of funky blues. Songs like "Midnight Sun", Howlin' Wolf's "Built For Comfort", "Crossroads", a super funky "Red House", "Manic Depression" (I understand he was named after Jimi Hendrix and he is certainly a big influence) and a cool slide blues on his own homemade cigar box guitar. He also presented one of his homemade guitars to Michael from the headliners, Goddamn Gallows, who lost everything in a house fire. Check out Fuzz for the coolest solo blues in town!

We weren't able to stay up'n'out for the Goddamn Gallows, but a big thanks to the Dive Bar, hosts Nate'n'Angie and soundman John Kirby for a cool place to hang and some high quality music!