Well I know where I'll be every second Thursday of the month. You'll find me at The Happy Dog on Detroit Ave. in Cleveland Ohio taking in another The New Soft Shoe show. The band is a tribute to the late Gram Parsons. Their name taken from one of his songs.
I'm combining my music pick of the day...the Saturday Classic...with some admiration for these bunch of musicians who had me grinning ear to ear this past Thursday evening.
The band formed 3 months ago, and as leader of the group, Brent Kirby, states, "we don't practice. We just show up and play." It's surprising how polished they sound. Then again, take talented musicians who, like myself, have a love affair with Gram's music and know his songs by heart, and the parts just fall into place.
The band was started as a few of them were sitting around discussing their passion for Parson's music. Why not a tribute band they decided. It appears to be somewhat of a revolving cast. I can only hope for a consistent sort of line up that graced the stage Thursday night, their third gig.
The group is led by Brent on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. On lead guitar is new Cleveland resident Andy Leach who, besides playing a wicked Telecaster, is the Director Of Archives at the new Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum archive and library building on the Cuyahoga Community College campus. Here's a story from this week's Scene. Clevelander Chris Hanna who divides his time between here and Nashville these days plays keyboard. Tom Prebish, who plays with Chris Allen and the Guilty Hearts, Doug McKean and the Stuntmen and Pogues tribute band The Boys From County Hell is on bass. Al Moss of Hillbilly Idol handles pedal steel. The Drummer is Jon Niefeld who's played with The Mockers and The Rembrandts. Also joining in late in the set was guitar sensation Rob Muzik who plays with Kristine Jackson and also spends time in Nashville these days.
How about that for a line up? For Hanna and Moss this third show was their first with, hopefully, many more to follow.
With a consistent gig, as I say, every second Thursday of the month at The Happy Dog I see this band blowing up on the local music scene. Here's a crude iPhone clip of them doing 1,000 Dollar Wedding.
What's that you say? You don't know anything about Gram Parsons. His life and music reads like a screenplay for an amazing movie. Wealthy inheritance from his mother's side of the family business, those glass bottom boats in Florida so popular in the 1960's, a heroin addiction shared with Keith Richards, a very close friend who's music inspired more country sound from The Rolling Stones, a pioneer of country rock with The Flying Burrito Brothers and a short stint with The Byrds, discovers Emmylou Harris, OD's in Joshua Tree National Park and finally his body stolen and burned on the side of the road.
For my Saturday Classic music pick of the day I present Gram Parsons.
Artist: Gram Parsons
Album: Grievous Angel