Monday, April 02, 2018

The Unwieldies and Shanda and the Howlers at GarageMaHall, Sunday April 1. 2018

After a night at the Double Down, it can be difficult to become upright again the next morning, but somehow we managed and got out to the GarageMaHall for this weekend benefit for the Howlers drummer, Keith. The GarageMaHall is actually more-or-less on our side of town, so that made it easier, although we still didn't make it down until after the Unwieldies had already started their 11:30 am set!

I've ranted'n'raved about this acoustic quartet many-a-times, and they always deliver. With the Psyatics own Rob (here on stand-up bass) and Jack (here on violin) providing musical accompaniment to Rob's wife Dani (on guitar and lead vocals), along with dobro-player Richard, the group has their own style of folk/Americana that really sounds like no one else, due to their own eclectic tastes and musical contributions. Dani's sweet, lilting voice is just damn purty and when Rob's gruffly melodic vocals come in for counterpoint and harmonies, the songs really come alive. Great stuff for a mellow morning! Oh yeah, they did get some help from Pitchfork's banjoist for a couple of numbers off of their new, upcoming album, as well.

Shanda and the Howlers provided a more electric, bluesy, danceable set with none other than Keith Alcantara providing the rockin' rhythms for the group once again. He was in fine form, despite his recent illness, and it was great to see him playing a full set with the group again. With songs from their current record, Trouble, as well as their upcoming new release, they got the crowd of kinds'n'adults up'n'dancin' and whoopin'n'hollarin' as they gave up their own brand on bluesy, old school R'n'B. Another one of my favorites bands in town, with a stacked line-up of terrific players and singer, they're always a blast to see'n'hear. 

I know there was a lot more happening here all weekend, but we were a bit partied out by this point and headed home for some much-needed rest'n'relaxation. A great time and a very cool venue though!