Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Psyatics, the Pine Hill Haints, Slow Motion Cowboy, Sam Barrett at the Double Down Saloon, Wednesday Jan 24, 2017

I tend to want to hibernate in the winter time, so I have not gotten out so far this year, but this show made me throw off my ennui and make the trek across town to the good ol' Double Down. Besides local faves, the Psyatics, I have been wanting to see the Pine Hill Haints ever since the Gentlemen of Four Outs started covering one of their songs, so I was happy to finally have the chance.

Opening the night, from Yorkshire, England, was solo singer/guitarist, Sam Barrett. Solo acoustic players often have a hard time, especially at punk rock dive bars, but Sam's superb'n'lightnin' fast finger-pickin' (similar to banjo rolls) on his amplified 12 string guitar, his fine singin' and excellent, old-world country/folks songs captured the early crowd's attention and he received a rave reception. I was struck enough to pick up one of his CDs after his set.

All of the Slow Motion Cowboys could not make it, but front man/guitarist Pete did his own solo acoustic set of Dylan-esque folk numbers. His guitar style was simpler than Barrett's, but his songs were strong and he received some help from Jamie of the Haints on fiddle (he also contributed to Sam's set). He acknowledged that it was tough to follow Barrett, but he held his own and also received a good reception, overall.

I assume that the North Alabama's Pine Hill Haints probably have a somewhat revolving line-up (although that is just an assumption), but this crowd seemed to essentially be the line up from the CD that I grabbed - The Magic Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints. Jamie on vocals and guitar/fiddle, Matt on washtub bass (amazing that he was able to get such a variety of sounds from a single "string" on a wash tub!), Katie on mandolin, washboard and saw (which she excelled at), Ben on snare drum and another gentlemen on accordion and trombone!

Jamie is a terrific, energetic frontman and singer, with cool guitar'n'fiddle playing filling out the somewhat Zydeco/Irish folk music. The entire band works together well, and the variety of instruments adds to the interest they generate. They got people up'n'dancin' and generally groovin' on their old world charms. I enjoyed them quite a bit and hope that they continue to return to Vegas on a regular basis.

Of course, I have ranted'n'raved about the Psyatics innumerable times on this blog, as I totally dig their style of garage/noise/punk and tonight was another fine night. Although it was somewhat late on a week night, drummer Mark was truly blazin', with some really interesting patterns, while Jack proudly showed off his new guitar (and pretty much shoved it in the faces of the audience - in a good way) and Rob sung'n'shrieked while tossin' off loopin', lopin' bass lines. A number of new songs from the upcoming album appeared, along with faves like "Bourbon Sway" and "Evangeline" and covers ranging from the Banana Splits ("Gonna Find a Cave"), the Hives ("Two Timing Touch"), the Drags ("I Like to Die") and even Pink Floyd ("Pigs" - not my fave - I wouldn't mind if this one was dropped from their set, although I know others dig it). The drunk dancers dug them and their dancer, the whirlin' dervish Ivanna Blaize, and they gave a smokin' end to the night.

More great, week night fun from the Double Down! Always a good time!