This past week had a plethora of options to be distracted by. There was Outside Lands and the accompanying late night shows, I would have liked to see Wilco, Leon Bridges and D'Angelo. Instead, there were those of us in the North Bay that were treated to some other affordable options (and by affordable I mean free).
|The Mother Hips | Cloverdale|
Last Friday we made our almost-weekly pilgrimage to Cloverdale for The Mother Hips. Tim Bluhm and company were hitting on all cylinders, this was one of the better shows I've seen from them. Greg Loiacono was on fire, his guitar licks seem to prevail throughout the night. "Freed From Prison" had a Bowie vibe. Other songs felt steeped in honky tonk blues. Greg took "Do It On the Strings," to another level with some impressive guitar work. On the next track, "Clean Me Up," they blended some nifty drumming with some fiery Wah-Wah to elicit a sound reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Multiple people mentioned that this was their favorite song of the night. "White Falcon Fuzz" got the crowd rocking once more as the interplay between the two guitarist created good sound and strong emotion. They wanted to go out ripping as the last two songs of the set were heavy in anthem-like rock tones. The encore gave us a couple more, the finale was a dirty (in a good way) and bluesy infused burner, "Stoned Up..."
|St. Paul & the Broken Bones | Lagunitas|
On Monday we made our way to Lagunitas for their super secret show. This Year's surprise band was St. Paul and the Broken Bones. This soulful outfit from Birmingham is the truth. Church-like is an understatement. Lacing covers in and out of their own material seamlessly, this seven piece doesn't make mistakes, they make good times. The first cover of the night was Sam Cooke's "Shake." They followed that with a down-tempo version of the title track "Half the City." After "Broken Bones & Pocket Change" they went for the Wilson Pickett Standard, "99 and a Half." As the night wore on you could see the energy inside the mini-amphitheatre pick up. The Broken Bones jumped into a string of songs that made me feel the love. "Let It Be So" and "Down in the Valley" featured Paul's gospel-like vocals and the spot-on snap of the horn section. The main set came to a close with a Tom Waits cover, "Make It Rain,"—if only our parched state could get some. Then came the encore. Beginning with a Motown version of David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream," they created a new song from another world, one that would have made Ziggy Stardust proud. Next came Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You..." which was just what the shaman ordered. They dropped in "Call Me," before going all Beatles on us with a rousing, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." One thing's for sure, I wanted more so bad. Rarely do you see a band tackle such a diverse catalog of songs. As the congregation left the service, there was a unified feeling, satiated in the soulful delivery from a band that's sure to deliver a sermon. Thanks to St. Paul, the Broken Bones and Lagunitas for taking me to the holy land, if only for a couple of hours.