Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Suckin Ya Dry

Deertick with Johnny Corndawg - The Visulite, October 18th 2009

Sunday night shows are tough in a town like Charlotte. For the most part, Charlotte is a play it by the book kinda town, the crisp shirted, big banking folks who enjoy being scene at the best spot more than checking out the scenes that the backside of this town offers. Sunday nights are tough because most folks have hit it hard all weekend and most guys just wanna sit on the couch and watch the tube. But every now and then, if you venture out, you'll catch a rare show, a band in their groove on a Sunday.

I've caught a few Sunday shows in my time and the most amazing of them is My Morning Jackets show at the Tabernacle on the Z tour; changed the way I see live music.
Deertick is not going to redefine anything about my life, but there is plenty they solidify, and on a Sunday sometimes the best thing going is a true affirmation. A calling of faith of all things southern, twangy, rough and tough, a little boozed up and full of grit, hard lessons and broken hearted songs.

The last time I attempted to see Deertick was over a year ago at the world famous Milestone in town, where there were maybe 5 people in attendance and Deertick pulled a no show; flat tire en route. How Deertick landed a gig at Visulite I ain't real sure. Despite it being sparse in crowd, Deertick made the place feel like home, playing a show more like they are your buds jamming out at your favorite bar than a national touring act. This sits well with me on a Sunday and it matches all my expectations of the band.

The opening act is of course just the band with an additional vocalist, Johnny Corndawg. Corndawg is a mix between the guy that works at the general store that sells you beer in High School, a drunk art student and Hank Williams Jr (like a 30yr old version of Willie Nelson's grnadpa). His music is all twang and life and the lyrics are raw and twisted but delightful. He sings about his love being a cherry with chocolate mouse on top and a dog sporting a red rocket and a married couple yelling at one another in a long roadtrip ("Shut Up"). It's damn entertaining stuff and you can feel the realness of this guy coming over the PA. Despite a nagging cough that left him napping center stage until his bandmates woke him to start the set and his momma's sweater, the boy put on a show. http://www.myspace.com/thecorndawg

Deertick as a whole was everything I want them to be. Torn, scratchy, loose put together. Having fun, being themselves and keeping things light and movin. They open with an A-cappella version of "Dirty Dishes" and the trend for taking old standard songs of theirs and others in new directions is the theme for the evening. "Ashamed" came full steam ahead, enjoyable but not the tender, rip your heart out style I prefer. Mixed in the set were a variety of songs by John Prine and a number co-written with members of Those Darlins; a naughty number at that.

Despite my request for "Nebraska", MacCauley (lead) informs me that they are from Rhode Island, a witty conversational stageman with good anecdotes and crowd interaction. My only complaint would be the volume, could have used it turned down a notch in order to catch more vocals when things picked up tempo.

After a nice solo set that included a great version of the Replacements, "Can't Hardly Wait" (also covered perfectly by Justin Townes Earle this year), there was a solid encore featuring "La Bamba", "Maybellene" (suits there swagger and rockabilly attitude) and a tease of "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

A perfect birthday gift of a show to me

1 comment:

Matt McConnell said...

Atlanta got some Petty and "With a Little Help From My Friends" at which point he jumped in to the audience and tried to get a bunch of people to sing who somehow didn't know the words....good to know they don't just play the same show.