Freight Train, Rabbit Killer and Berwanger at Record Bar

Over at the Record Bar just before Halloween, Freight Train, Rabbit Killer and the Legion of Ghosts performed an extended set of tunes with Berwanger opening.

Berwanger started things off with a power-pop set of rock tunes in support of the newly released “Exorcism Rock”.  It’s a great album with snappy tunes and great production value. Definitely check it out.

After Berwanger finished things off, the Kris Bruders and Mark Smeltzer started the FTRK set off as the typical duo.  They set the tone for their delta blues inspired tunes before the Legion of Ghosts turned the set into a thirteen piece jam of horns, drums, keys and slide guitar in addition to Smeltzer’s DIY string instruments.  It was quite a massive sound.  In previous editions of the Legion of Ghosts the lineup was much smaller.  This time around it appeared all the stops were pulled.

Berwanger:

 

 

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Freight Train, Rabbit Killer and the Legion of Ghosts:

 

 

 

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Folk Alliance Sights

Had a bit of a crazy week during the Folk Alliance so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend as much time down there as I had hoped.  But I did make it down on Saturday evening and caught a bunch of great bands from all over the country.

It was more of a listening experience than a photographic one.  I mean there are only so many ways to make musicians in hotel rooms that all look the exact same interesting.  Also, there’s that whole difficult to get good shots when there is a bed and dozen chairs in the way thing.
Despite all those things, one thing it didn’t take away from was the quality of the sound.  It was a great time just strolling up and down the halls popping your head in, picking up swag and hearing some fresh jams.
The whole conference is a bit of a crazy thing.  The civilized more traditional conference-like activities take place during the day time.  Then, each night around 6 PM, the “official showcases” start up in the main ballrooms and conference halls until around 10 PM. At 10 or so, that’s when the madness begins upstairs.  Dozens of rooms and hallways are filled to capacity with hundreds of musicians and industry folks checking out the sights and sounds.  You basically just wander around and stick your head in anywhere that sounds interesting.

Making Movies

 

 

 

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John Keck

 

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Justin Penney

 

Destroy Nate Allen

 

 

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Freight Train, Rabbit Killer

 

 

NYE with Freight Train, Rabbit Killer at Westport Saloon

Here’s a bit of the NYE show at Westport Saloon with Freight Train Rabbit Killer and their special guests, The Legion of Ghosts.  I’ve got a bit of audio from the set too.

 

AUDIO of the FTRK set

 

 

 

 

 

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Crossroads Music Festival 2015 Recap

Another year, another Crossroads Music Festival is in the books.  This year was great!  Good weather, closely located venues, solid lineup, it had something for everyone.  Every year Bill and the team tweak the formula a bit.  Gone is the Midwestern Musical Co. and Crossroads was honestly a bit of a big venue to have to try and fill.  So this year the folks got a stage setup in the Cowtown T-Shirt shop parking lot, then both levels of the Living Room and the Mod Gallery across the street in addition to the clubs on Grand, and the Brick a block over.  The relative proximity made it really easy to get from one venue to the next without missing too much action.  Also, the excellent volunteer staff that helped at the unconventional venues gave their time to support the cause.

The performers for CMF this year also covered the gamut from jazz to rock, americana to funk.  It was a pretty eclectic lineup even for CMF standards.  At the peak it looked like most venues were near capacity with the Tank Room decidedly packed for the Phantastics set.  Over at the Mod gallery a large crowd spilled out the door during the Philistines and a sizeable crowd bounced to the sounds of Not a Planet.

The Marching Cobras

 

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Not A Planet

 

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Freight Train, Rabbit Killer

 

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The Philistines

 

 

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Mountain Sprout

 

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The Phantastics

 

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Katy Guillen and the Girls

 

 

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CMF and MMF staff

 

Halloween at Westport Saloon: Hellfire Hoedown

On Halloween, we headed out to the Hellfire Hoedown at Westport Saloon.  The acts featured ranged from rockabilly and hard rock to bluegrass and blues.  We caught the sets from Stay Sick: A Tribute to the Cramps, Electric Lungs, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, and Them Damned Young Livers.

There was an additional stage set up in the parking lot just north of Westport Saloon which featured more of the heavier acts.  It also featured cash only bars serving Busch and bourbon.  The bourbon proved to be the ticket for taking the edge off the chilly evening.

The first act we caught was a local group performing a tribute to the garage rock icon’s the Cramps.  They played an incredibly high-energy set hitting on many of the Cramps’ most popular tunes including: “New Kind of Kick”,”I Was a Teenage Werewolf”,”Bikini Girls with Machine Guns” amongst others.  It was highly entertaing complete with a pole dancer.

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The following act was the Electric Lungs who play a no nonsense style of uptempo  hard rock n roll.  Singer Tripp Kirby screams songs of angst, anger and frustration with a backing band on top of the beat and helping to lead the charge. Time seems to always fly during Electric Lungs sets.  Just as the first song begins the last one ends and 45 minutes has gone by.

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After the Lungs’ set, we headed inside for Freight Train Rabbit Killer the brainchild of Kris Bruders and Mark Smeltzer.  It’s a slide guitar fueled, outlaw duo with very dark bent.  It’s heavy on blues and twang with a solid beat that chugs along just like a well, train.

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Outside in the tent, things were getting what some might call slightly rock n roll.  Them Damned Young Livers were on the stage and it was getting wild.  The bourbon and Busch was treating the crowd and the band well because the Livers’ played a hard charging rowdy set as they always do. The entire band completely decked out in drag wrecked the stage, smashed a bass guitar, knocked down light stands, fell off the stage and sent the drums into the energetic crowd.  It was a sight to see.

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