What better way to end Spring Break 2010 than a day at the race track (you just can’t go to Kentucky and miss the Spring Meet), and a night at the club enjoying live music? I’m pretty sure there is no better way.
I had planned on taking the kids down to Louisville to spend some time with the parents, when a friend of mine suggested that I check out Boogie Matrix Mechanism, who happened to be playing within walking distance of my friend’s place just off Bardstown Road. This quickly expanded in to “Well…if you’re going to be in town, you may as well join us at the track for the day…” Next thing I know, I’ve got my in-laws thanking me for taking my kids to Lexington as I gleefully trot over to a friend’s, where all us dirty hippies were magically transformed into respectable looking adults. All the ladies were wearing dry-clean only, and my boys all had collars on their shirts. We certainly were cleverly disguised as adults for the day.
Fast forward 10 hours, and we were back in to our every day wear, enjoying cheap pizza, and getting ready to head to the show. Hideaway Saloon has been a Louisville staple for about 14 years. With about 120 beers to choose from (at reasonable prices), and a live music scene that jams on until about 4:00 in the morning, the Hideaway is a favorite late night spot for locals. (Hey, Louisville…the Hideaway serves liquor now, too).
Before Boogie Matrix Mechanism was to play, Rumpke Mountain Boys went on to play for a bit. As the opening act was setting up, I was introduced to several members of Boogie, as well as many of their followers, affectionately referred to as “The Boogie Family.” After meeting four members of the band, I was sure I had met the whole group. But no, the list went on. I had met six by the time Rumpke was getting ready to start, and had yet to meet the lead singer. A seven piece band…interesting.
I was excited for Rumpke Mountain Boys to play. I had heard a little bit of a set back in February, and loved their sound. They’re from Cincinnati, where I lived for a short spell. And, if you’ve ever lived around Cincinnati, then you know that Rumpke Mountain is a big fat trash heap, and that Rumpke is the garbage truck company serving the great Cincy area. And, so, the Rumpke Mountain Boys refer to themselves as “infamous trashgrass.” The band is made up of four guys, all with dreads, a smooth voice, and an instrument worth picking at. We’ve got Jason Wolf on banjo, dobro, harmonica, and vocals; Ben Gourly on mandolin and vocals; Adam Copeland on guitar, harmonica and vocals; and Travis Gates on bass and vocals.
Hearing them play was great. I didn’t get the chance to grab a set list, but did have the pleasure of speaking with their manager, Jason Huckaby, who let me know that they don’t play from a predetermined set list, play 4-5 nights a week, rarely practice (with all those gigs, who has time?), and they play every Tuesday at Stanley’s Pub in Cincinnati, OH, where they try out their new stuff. I do know that they played a little Grateful Dead, and that they play it dirty. Thus, considering themselves “infamous trashgrass” is appropriate.
Being in such a small venue has its pluses. One of them is that you get a very clear view of the band. I loved watching Adam play, who typically takes to the background, watching the others play, and adjusting his guitar to beautifully compliment his partners’ music. When he sings, he looks up, and has a voice so warm it makes a girl’s heart all melty (You can check out their sound at www.rumpkemountainboys.org).
Set break came, and took quite a while, since one band had to tear down, and the other set up. I spent my time learning more about bourbon (I was in Kentucky, after all), trying to prove my dart skills, giggling outside with a girlfriend of mine, enjoying the views off Bardstown Road, and soaking up the people that I call home.
As Boogie Matrix Mechanism prepared to start, testing mics and instruments, the Hideaway became more densely populated. Members of The Boogie Family had traveled from Toledo, and were ready to, well, boogie. I had heard that they had quite a following, and within about a minute of them playing, I understood why.
First, I must commend the group for having such a harmonious sound with seven people. The seven people are Brian Bell (lyricist/lead vocals), Bob Maltby (rhythm guitar), Benjamin Durham (bass guitar/vocals), John Kuntz (lead guitar/vocals), Jim Kahmann (keyboard/organ), Eric Lowden (drum kit), and Aaron Armstrong (percussion). As they were setting up, I wondered how all seven of them would be able to put together sensical music. Maybe they didn’t all play together all at once. Maybe they’d sound chaotic. I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Pleasantly, when they came on, they did in fact all play at once, and they were nowhere near chaotic. In meeting the boys earlier on in the evening, they were so kind and easy to talk to, very laid back. And, you can tell that they all treat each other respectfully as they play their music in order to support the other sounds, not to boast their own. Each musician has their own specialized talent, and when you put them together, they are symphonotic. Self described as ” an eclectic mix of funk, jam band psychedelia, hip hop, reggae and blues” hits that nail right on the head.
They played a wide variety of music. I was even thrown back to the 80’s for some Talking Heads. Most of their set was original, and pieces I was not familiar with, but the Boogie Family knew every beat, every lyric, every song. It was easy to get in to the groove of the music and boogie with the family. The lead singer has a great voice, which reminds me of nothing I’ve heard before. It’s almost electric.
Their setlist was:
Space -> Witness
‘Ssippi Soul -> Whiskey Jacket
Front Ass Naked
Mushroom Hunting -> Wood-polish Jam
Jam -> Festilove
To hear some of their music, check out their website at www.boogiematrix.com.
All in all, it was a great night with awesome friends and delicious music. Thanks to all who helped make Saturday, April 10th the day in 2010 I could live over and over again.