Monday, August 19, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XXXIV
To help celebrate Lydia's birthday Saturday night, Coco and I went to Tir Na Nog near Union Square to meet with Lydia, Alex, and several other people -- and to hear Frank Morey. Ostensibly a blues musician -- Frank's coming out with a record later this year on a Chicago-based blues label -- Frank's set was a pleasant bit of old-timey country blues featuring him singing and playing guitar and Scott Pittman on drums.

Frank chain smokes, lighting one cigarette with another.

While I enjoyed Frank's singing and the overall feel of Tom Waits-like dramatic folk blues, I spent most of my time watching Scott play drums. He's got an awesome kit -- modeled after vaudeville, he says -- with a tambourine attached to the high-hat, a loosely coiled spring hanging from a stand, a cowbell, wood block, beaded tom, and a bass drum imprinted with a graphic that reads "Art is the handmaid of human good." He played melodica during one song, and the song in which Frank played the jaw harp accompanied by Scott's duck call was quite enjoyable. In addition, his method of singing backups was interesting. He positions himself pretty far back from the mic, so it created more of a suggestion of vocals underneath Frank's up-front singing. Nice.

Scott just moved from Lowell to Jamaica Plain.

Despite a couple of awkward moments -- girls at the bar giggling over Frank's mention of the "mouth organ" and U2 on the radio interrupting the beginning of their second set -- Frank and Scott played an enjoyable, energetic set. The song from O Brother, Where Art Thou? felt a little cliched, but it's a good song, so I can't fault them. Worth checking out if you like this kind of music. They'd fit well on a bill with Gloria Deluxe, I think.

You can also read another person's review of the show. Photographs courtesy of Koshka.

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