The first day of Middle of the Map Fest (MOTM) featured a number of showcases around the heart of Westport. We bounced back and forth between the Californo’s patio and the Westport Saloon. The evening started off with the Uncouth, then Hipshot Killer, the Architects and finally, Wick & the Tricks.
A couple weeks ago, the Quivers took the late shift duties at the Westport Saloon. The uptempo garage rock vibe kept the party happening at the Saloon until quitting time. It was a good nightcap to a busy evening that started at the Tank Room for the Electric Lungs show.
Last Monday at Knucklehead’s Garage, Robert Randolph and the Family Band played to several hundred music lovers on a slightly cool spring night. Lead with support from Nashville-based band the New Respects the night featured two bands entirely made up of family.
The New Respects are the new kids on the scene featured three siblings and one cousin singing lead. The R&B heavy band with blues and pop sensibilities featured four-part harmonies, great musicianship and stage presence. Their thirty-five minute opening set was high energy with a number from the crowd asking for more.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band have been on steadily touring and releasing music for the better part of twenty years at this point. The band is touring in support of their latest album, “Got Soul”. Robert Randolph, the pedal guitar virtuoso continues to solidify his reputation as the most unique pedal steel player in music today with another solid album.
The nearly two-hour show concluded with the New Respects joining Randolph on stage for a rendition of Sly Stone’s “Thank You”.
A couple weeks back Witch Jail, a decidedly surf/acid/punk/Cramps inspired act released a 7″ at the Brick. The 7″ is the latest edition of the Too Much Rock singles series.
Side A of the release features a Witch Jail track, “Slimewave, USA!”. The flip side is a cover of Alien Sex Fiend’s “My Brain is in the Cupboard, Above the Kitchen Sink”. It’s very twangy surf inspired and great stuff. Check it out around town at Witch Jail shows and record shops.
Back on Jan 20th (Yea, yea I know.), the Musicians for Active Justice held a fundraiser at the Record Bar for local non-profit KC for Refugees. The event featured a number of great local rock bands including: Emmaline Twist, Hipshot Killer and (the)medicine theory. We made it out in time to catch sets from Hipshot Killer and Emmaline Twist. Check it out below:
Back on February 3, New Orleans’ powerhouse of soul and funk Galactic invaded the Madrid in Kansas City. Opening support from Andy Frasco & the UN was excellent featuring Stanton Moore sitting in for a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. Frasco & the UN provided an incredibly high energy set of soulful tunes with a decidedly fresh approach. The nearly hour long set closed out with an appropriate cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name”.
Following Frasco, Galactic began approximately two hours of New Orleans tinged funk and jam tunes spanning most of the catalog. It was a pretty solid sampling of Galactic that helped take the chill of the early February night. Ben Ellman provided most of the crowd interaction through the evening with Erica Falls absolutely powerful voice that commanded the stage each time she sang.
Galactic is without a doubt one of the most versatile and sonically curious bands out there. Their willingness to bring in guests performers has given them the ability to constantly evolve while still maintaining their funky roots.
Here are some images from the Hipshot Killer and Electric Lungs show over at Davey’s a couple weeks back. If I recall, the Lungs were shooting a video that night around the bar featuring a guy in a heart costume and another with a giant afro. There might have been drinking involved.