walnotes

mySpace music trail – Two Gallants, The Deciders

In deciders, muni shirts, music, music trail, myspace, review, the deciders, two gallants, walnotes, whoreshoes on June 21, 2007 at 11:14 am

I’m starting to feel like this venture of writing artist reviews based on mySpace music trails is actually worthwhile. I’ve been getting about 20 hits a day from one source or another. Not bad for something I started about a month ago.

Something new for today is a new page on the Walnotes home page. The section is called “Reviewed Artists”. I’m starting to make a running list of the artists I’ve found and reviewed on Walnotes. Good stuff!

Today’s music trail starts with a local San Francisco band called Two Gallants. I heard them for the first time in a small club in Berlin in the Fall of 2005. They’ve been touring nearly non-stop since then.

Artist #1Two Gallants

(Seems Like Home To Me) is the first track. The band sings Americana drinking songs. This two piece duo sounds like old country mixed with Irish music. (Seems Like Home To Me) is a ballad worth listening to.

(Steady Rollin’) is one of those songs Adam will be singing until he can’t take it anymore. Every live show, every greatest hits disc, every time anyone thinks of the band, he’ll be asked for it. It’s got an anthemic quality to it. You can’t help but sing along once you learn the words. And the lyrics themselves are filled with the words of an empowered man in pain.

(Las Cruces Jail) is the epitome of what you should be looking for in a song. It starts off with the sound of wind. Then add in a creepy weeping guitar and Adam whistling. The song is then catapulted into rocket speed. Your head will start bobbing around. Keep your composure the best you can because it gets better as the track goes on. Through pace variations and lyrical mastery this story of an unlucky criminal charges on! “Sun won’t you rise, come on.”

(Nothing To You) is the last track on the Two Gallants page. It is nothing short of a classic. “Down by the riverside…wasting away!” Raise your glass. Put your arm around the bloke next to you. Rock from side to side. And of course, sing along. If you’ve ever seen them play live you can’t help but think of Tyson drumming his mind out and Adam singing until his face turns red. The passion is so intense there’s no place you’d rather be.

Two Gallants are touring with Les Claypool all summer. They play The Warfield on June 29th. Go if you can. Next year they’ll be all over MTV and you’ll wish you saw them before they made it “big”.  Here’s a video clip of “Las Cruces Jail” performed live in Germany.

From Two Gallants top friends I chose Lonely Gallant. I bet it’s a fan page. Yep, it is. They’ve got (Seems Like Home To Me) playing. I forgot to mention that this is a live acoustic version of the song. It’s amazing how Tyson’s drums stand out. Intense like the bass drum of Meg White of The White Stripes, but with Tommy Lee’s skills, if not better. Watch him play and see for yourself.

From Lonely Gallant’s top friends I’ll choose

OK, so I was at a cafe on Fillmore and the place was closing. At 8pm sharp they shut off the wireless access. Good move on their part as it gets the final stragglers me out the door. Fortunately I saved the music trail first. Now here’s the sticky part. I went back to Two Gallants’ page to find Lonely Gallant and he’s no longer in their top friends. They reduced the number and he got the boot.

I could go to his page directly and find someone from his top friends but I’d rather go directly to The Deciders’ page. They sent out an email this morning saying they were having a CD release party at The Plough and Stars on Friday. Let’s give them a boost in listeners.

Artist #2The Deciders

The first track is (Dogpatch). This modern bluegrass tune starts out sounding a little like Barenaked Ladies or They Might Be Giants. Listen and place the sounds I’m referring to. The delivery is more like Barenaked Ladies. The voice is almost heading toward TMBG. Meanwhile the sound is tight! The fiddle fiddles, the bass keeps the pace, and the banjo just plows on through. I love the lyrics too.

(Jim McCann) is next. It’s a bluegrass ballad about a man trying to leave his past behind. “Poor Jim McCann. His life ain’t worth a damn.” This track is more acoustic with a bit of banjo. The fiddle is low key and the lead singer is most prominent. I hear Barenaked Ladies again in this ditty. I’m so going to the CD release party tomorrow night, June 22, 2007.

(Nostalgic Gibberings) is good. I think something that makes The Deciders stand out amongst bluegrass bands is their lyricism. They write about current events and places, in addition to the classic themes like in (Jim McCann). Not to mention that they are really good with their jams and chops. And they remind me again of TMBG. That’s a good thing.

(Never Never) is the last track available. This is a classic fast-paced bluegrass party romp. Grab your partner and do-si-do. The song has a fiddle, bass, banjo, and an acoustic guitar, from what I can tell. I love how the band knows how to balance their sound. It’s really easy on the ears, despite being oh so raucous.

I think I’ll pick one more top friend before I finish today. From The Deciders’ friends I’ll pick The Whoreshoes. They’re an all girl bluegrass band.

Artist #3The Whoreshoes

(Blue Skies) came up first. Unmistakably those are spoons they’re playing. Or are they? You don’t hear those on the radio anymore. How sad is that. [Editor’s note: That’s a washboard, not spoons.] This song is a steady paced rambler. “Sunshine, blue skies, not a cloud in sight.”

(Hit The Road) is next. The lead singer reminds me of the song about the PTA. This band plays well together but it doesn’t strike me. If you’re looking for classic bluegrass/country and want to enjoy a night out listening to it then they’ll do. If you want something that’ll make you think or laugh then they won’t cut it.

(Well Dressed Honky…) comes up third. (Well Dressed Honky Tonk Man) is the full name, I’m assuming. That’s the line in the song. This song is piano driven bluegrass. I like that a lot. It makes me think of sitting in a saloon drooped over a dark beer with a band playing in the corner. Something great to have playing but not focus too much attention on. This song stands out as having more energy than the others so far.

The last song on their page is (Nancy Whisky) (sic). I wonder if they meant Nancy Whiskey. The spoons are jammin’ away in the background along with the rest of the bluegrass standards and a flute too. This song is a ballad about a woman in Scotland, I think. It doesn’t matter so much. The whole thing comes together well and makes for a good listen. It feels like a standard bluegrass song.

I started the mySpace music trail with a local San Francisco band called Two Gallants. From their top friends I picked Lonely Gallant who was obviously a fan and had one of their songs playing. Then he disappeared from their top friends before I could pick someone from his top friends.

So I started back up with another San Francisco band called The Deciders. They play a CD release party on Friday at the Plough and Stars.

From their top friends I chose The Whoreshoes. They regularly play standard bluegrass around the Bay Area. Go check them out. I’m sure they put on a good show.

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