Saturday, April 19, 2008

More slopgrass. Iola this time.

Wednesday evening I sat in with Sloppy Joe for their weekly slot at the Northland Ballroom in Iola. An excellent time was had by all.

Listen Here

As with the last time I played out there with the band, I was most impressed by the mix of 'alternative' student types and older, unpretentious local farming folk all dancing together. The couple of songs Gavin started with were quite telling: "Big River" and "You Win Again" could either be appreciated via the Johnny Cash and Hank Williams originals, or the acid-subcultural angle (the Grateful Dead famously covered both).

I sat in for most of both sets, chatted with members of the audience the rest of the time (most of whom wanted to know what my saz was, where it was from, how many strings and all the usual stuff). One rather drunk young student in a tie-dye announced "Dude, you're the bomb" and enthused about the way my saz was "all long an' shit".

I was lost in conversation when the second set started, and I suddenly realised they were playing the theme from The Muppet Show (one of Stef's obsessions), interpolating "Ain't She Sweet"...wonderful. Watching Sloppy Joe (especially Jeff) play does remind me of the Muppets, and apparently I'm not the first person to have made that observation.

We were joined up there for most of the night by a local, relatively young mandolin player called J.R. (who told me his brother is currently out in Jordan and intends to bring him home an oud) Dale Reichert, local banjo deity and member of the High Water Band (who used to host the same Wednesday night open mic at the Northland before handing it over to Sloppy Joe). An amazing player. When he thanked Gavin for letting him sit in with them, Gavin replied "Thanks for letting us stand next to you!", which I think was an accurate reflection of how we were all feeling.

Dale Reichert playing DobroDale Reichert playing banjo
Dale Reichert playing Dobro, banjo on some other occasion

Gavin - banjo, guitar, vocals
Stef - banjo, guitar, fiddle, upright bass, musical saw, vocals
Jimers - upright bass, washtub bass, jaw harp, vocals(?)
Jeff - guitar, fiddle, banjo(?), mandolin(?), upright bass, vocals
Jamie - washboard/percussion
J.R. - mandolin
Dale - banjo, Dobro
me - saz


Post a Comment

<< Home