Friday, June 10, 2011

American Swamp Music : The Black Tongued Bells

With guitars as thick as molasses, The Black Tongued Bells debuted on a good-time Thursday. Heavy and rockin', BTB drag their blues on the ground - picking up soulful grit - then they smooth it out with inviting grooves and vocal harmonies. The boogie piano, gospel organ and harmonica are all part of the BTB sound. Their version of (Bee-Gees) "To Love Somebody" was way deep and beauty-full.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brenna Whitaker : Vintage Trouble?

While Vintage Trouble conquer Europe, we here back in Santa Monica still lament the end of what we called "Trouble Tuesday".

This past Friday night über-cool lounge singer Brenna Whitaker - a mid-west native now living in Los Angeles - was the headliner. Brenna has been officially VT-approved, which apparently is enough to spark a little of that old flame, as a couple of my fave VT fans (aka 'Troublemakers') showed their faces. Cheers to Anna and Horacio. Great seeing you both tonight!!

Brenna isn't bad, she's just drawn that way. She works a little "blue", likes to reference hip-hop lyrics and often shares her whimsical thoughts with the audience in-between songs. Her prescence is without pretense and she can sing whatever she wants, as she possess one helluva instrument. She grabs notes and bounces 'em around - adding or subtracting - letting go or holding on until she's good and ready to let it go. This is obviously what she was born to do.

The band included Tommy King (keys), Stacey Lamont Sydnor (drums) Frank Abraham (bass), Wes Smith (sax), Adam Lasher (guitar) and William Artope (trumpet).

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Toledo Show : Still Baadasssssssss...

It was nice to find myself there among the drunken throng that perpetuate any bar at 1:00am. ... I am most happy to say that The Toledo Show has gotten better and badder, harder, funkier, grittier... with more dancers than before - new ones - as well as Dames Mindy, Leah & Erin, band members I'd never seen (guitarist) and some missing (Shamari, Brew, Brian Allen, Walter) as Asa, Sebastian, Spoonie and Malik supported Toledo with strength and power.