Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Royal Hounds, The Lucky Cheats, Eddie Bear and the Cubs - Triple B - Mar 14, 2014

I don't get out to the Triple B for shows very often- in fact, they don't seem to have shows very often - but it is a decent sized space with a real stage and PA, so I hope that they start doing gigs more regularly. This night they had the soundman, Noel, who used to work at the Bunkhouse and who I always liked, though he seemed to be having issues wrangling the sound at the beginning of the night, as evidenced by an extremely long sound check by the openers, the Royal Hounds. But once it was dialed in, it was pretty decent for the night.

The Hounds are a new combo (I believe this was their second show) made up of, "hounds"?...from various casino tribute acts - I didn't catch the drummer's other gig, but the bassist does Carl Perkins in the Million Dollar Quartet and the guitarist does George Harrison in another project. All are quite talented musicians, though the act isn't yet fully translating to dive bars/punk rock clubs - it's a bit staged and safe - though good, clean fun and quite visual. The bassist stands on his stand-up, plays it behind his head (quite a feat for an instrument that big), plays in the audience, has the guitarist climb on it, etc. and while I have nothing against staged acts - I do it myself - nothing really felt spontaneous. Again, they have some good ideas, but need to loosen up some. The set was also cover-centric, with lots of well-known, cool songs from "Catman" and "Black Slacks" to "I Love Paris" (very show-tune-y), "Bacon Fat", a surf medley, etc., and even had an Elvis impersonator come up and sit in on drums and lead vocals for one of the highlights - a pretty smokin' take on "Red Hot". Again, lots of talent here - just add a bit more edge to it.

Of course, I always love seeing the Lucky Cheats, and tonight they were really on fire and were rippin' it up right from the start ("Automatic") and the audience were diggin' it all and dancin' and boppin' throughout. There were a couple of very cool new songs by Luke (a country-ish tune "Don't Look Back" [I think] with a wild lead followed by a slow breakdown - and a swamp-themed number), a high-energy take on "Catfish Blues", a hyper-sonic "You Know It Ain't Right" with Jeffrey and Wade trading off some terrific licks, a new song of Jeffrey's ("Hollywood Love"?) that was pretty damn heavy - almost like the Jeff Beck Group - and they brought up lovely belter Shanda for a couple of tunes, as well. After a crazed version of RL Burnside's "Skinny Woman" they closed with their own "Going to Church". Excellent from start-to-finish!

The Lucky Cheats drummer, Larry Reha, has gotten his country project, Eddie Bear and the Cubs, going again, with Larry on acoustic guitar and vocals, Eric on the same, Davis on stand up and a somewhat revolving line-up - tonight with a new drummer (sorry I am so bad with names - think his name is Jim, and he is also involved with the Million Dollar Quartet, if I remember rightly) and with the Cheats amazing six-string slayer, Wade, sitting in! That alone would guarantee me wanting to see the set, even if this wasn't the coolest C&W act in town. But Wade was just the icing on this talented cake, as everyone here are top-notch players and singers and they bring a cool song selection - from the opening "Rumble", to "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down", "Folsom Prison" and their cool adaptation of "Going Down", as their closer. The audience was appropriately inebriated by this set and was groovin' on every twang and harmony and everyone left with a smile on their faces!

Great night at the Triple B - hope that they have more high quality shows like this, as it is a good place to see live music.