Monday, November 11, 2013

The Unwieldies, JInxemgood, Andy Hall - the Hard Hat Lounge 11-9-13

My solo project opened this show, giving me a good excuse to see a couple of other quality acts at a new (to me) dive bar. The Hard Hat Lounge is kinda in the middle of nowhere on Industrial but is a comfortable place with cool bartenders, plenty of good food options (apparently, breakfast, lunch and dinner) and - for live performances - an actual (small) stage! This evening the PA was acting up a bit, but overall, a good time at a cool spot.

The night was hosted by Andy Hall, who, besides MC'ing, read poetry - his own as well as at least one by Ginsberg. Entertaining and humorous with some good tales to tell. I assume that he reads around town, so check him out!

I've seen Jonathan Jinxemgood Mullica before and dug his unique style of guitar playing and songwriting so was glad that he was able to make it for this gig. Somehow he manages to combine percussion, bass and melody lines on his guitar while singing tales of street folk that he has encountered in our city of sin. He also uses a couple of different types of capos that allows him to change the tuning of his guitar without changing the tension on the strings, which means that he doesn't have the tuning problems that would create. He calls his music "superfolk" and it is a combination of folk, blues, funk and whatever else come into his mind. A truly individualistic performer - definitely someone to see.

I've just raved about the Unwieldies new debut CD, but had not had a chance to see them perform before now. This was their second show since adding Jack Ball (guitarist for the Psyatics, another project with Rob) on violin and electric guitar, though Rob & Danielle have done gigs as a duet previously. Danielle has an exceptional voice and adds acoustic guitar to the mix as Rob harmonizes (and sings a couple leads) and plays stand-up bass. The set was comprised mostly of songs from the CD, though they opened (just R&D) with the pro-Union song, "Which Side Are You On" (written by Florence Reece, but covered by many, including Pete Seeger) and, I believe, a Leonard Cohen song. The sound is essentially folky/singer-songwriter tunes, with real quality songwriting, fantastic harmonies and super additional flourishes by Jack. The violin gives the songs a different twiast and really adds to the melodies. The Unwieldies are an amazing addition to the LV acoustic scene.