Monday, August 14, 2017



BSC, CA – It isn't often that you get to start a music show revue that sounds like a health inspection from Hugo of Bob's Burgers but everything happens for a reason, so by the end of my story you will know why if things weren't dreadful, there would be no greasy spoons, and that would be a shame for mandolin lovers.

You see, Sports Fans, of the five musicians playing this evening, four of them play together as the Dreadful Bad. The two elder band members, frontman Joel Morse [banjo] and Dave Ellner [guitar] were responsible for Greasy Spoons members Brian and Sean getting hooked on the Americana genre in the first place.

Somehow it seemed like you were transported back by an era or two, listening to a style of music that is all acoustic when talent, not feedback, was king. All this and being surrounded by old railroad photos in a station built when rail was king, made for the perfect setting to see/hear traditional music descended from Ireland.

In the city so named, a single ripe fruit grouping signaled freshness awaited us.

My train pulled in from the beach. It was time to work, hah.

 Ruby's is set inside a grand old structure whose interior features a full service restaurant on one side,

And a full service lounge with a back area for more seating, on the other. The lounge was the venue.

In a perfect corner, the Dreadful Bad pitched their musical tent, as it were, and I garnered a front row seat [witness the Stella at 3 o'clock].

After a sound check by Kyle, the third Greasy Spoon, and the Streamliner Lounge filling in with friends, fams, and fans, the Dreadful Bad opened.

Then out came the sweatband to cheers from the crowd and the Bad got badder. Between songs, Joel gave a little exposition about the song next up.

Then after a short break, Kyle Riley, below middle guitar, joined Sean Pullin, above stand-up bass, and Brian King, singer/songwriter, above mandolin, below guitar, to start and I got treated to a wonderful moment in a band's life. But first, the Greasy Spoons rocked it.

Brian and Sean playing with their mentors just seemed warmed up. Joined by Kyle, the Greasy Spoons took the stage area and owned it. Sean treats his bass like a ballet partner, a lot different from a Ska or rockabilly player.

You can't say enough about the versatility of having two different vocal leads and a backup.

But the bottom line is always the musicianship on the instruments. If the fingers of the Greasy Spoons look blurry, it isn't because my camera is cheap [although it is], it is because these guys put in the time and effort [with their talent] to become masters at their craft; a tribute to singers and lovers of beauty everywhere.

For me I got to hear some of my faves off Stealin' The Show, like Lazy Days, Hangman, and Dancin' With a Stranger, see two generations perform together, plus witness a young woman's eyes sparkle as she watched her boyfriend play mandolin on his toes, and I got to hear something I call a transition.

When the Greasy Spoons walked into Ruby's I am sure they considered themselves to be strictly Americana in genre, but within the new material that I heard [possibly from the new album], I feel the band is moving to its own 'sweet spot' of unique identity past genre. Awesome!

The boys are back, both generations, same Bat time, same Bat place [Ruby's], August 24th.

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