Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce and Scrapomatic at Iota

I returned to the Iota for Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce, a band of Mississippi folks (natives and transplants) and one Arkansas boy.  We stayed on for Scrapomatic, a duo +1 from Minneapolis with some groovy vocal hops, skips, jumps and harmonies.  Great show, only slightly marred by annoying drunk guy at the end of Scrapomatic (note to drunks: if you're grooving on the music, feel free to sway, but please don't yell. Their music rocks. Your silence is golden.). 

Shannon McNally was one of many female vocalists on a music compilation CD provided to me by a friend for a road trip, and was one (of many on that CD) that I picked out as a particular favorite.  McNally's voice is husky and twangy, somewhere between blues and country, full, not thin or wispy.  She's got some grit to her.  And she can, as my friend pointed out, "really wail on that guitar."  Yup.  Backing her up, the uber talented Hot Sauce, Jake Fussell on the bass (in my mind, "the groovin' guy in the hat"), Eric Deaton on guitar ("long-haired dude with crazy fast fingers"), Wallace Lester on drums ("dude who makes weird expressions, including rolling his eyes") and someone who may remain The Nameless Guy from Arkansas on the guitar/mandolin/fiddle/everything ("earnest and multitalented young-un with a great head bob").  They played, I am pleased to say, a couple of songs I actualy knew, since I'd listened to the CD and done a little poking around before the show, including "The Worst Part of  Broken Heart" and "Jack B Nimble."  "My True Possession" and "High" (which she introduced as "not about smoking pot, no matter what you might have heard") gave a taste of the new album out in January, Western Ballad. But there played some wayback songs too, including ending with "Bolder than Paradise" off the first album, Jukebox Sparrows. 

The song I'm most obsessed with that the moment though is "I Don't Wanna Know," a cover of the Bobby Charles song.  A great heartbreaker: "Please don't make me go/to New Orleans no more/ Because I am so afraid/ I might see his face/ and that I couldn't take." She nailed the longing right on.  Bobby Charles passed away last January.  You may know him as the songwriter who penned, "See You Later, Alligator."

And then Scrapomatic, who immediately won my favor by announcing that they were the "most polite band," which, given the Minnesota influence, is not surprising.  After the next song, they thought perhaps they might storm a record producer's office, which was perhaps less polite, but funny.  Mike Mattison has a voice that just grabs you, totally original, breathy to scat, unexpected up and down ranges, clapping and inviting you in. Paul Olsen zips around that voice with his own tenor and guitar, fluid and fun.  Hip-swinging blues tunes that will make you smile or cry or both.  Can't say you hear a lot of songs about a double murderer either

Of other minor note, we inadvertently managed to sit in the musicians section (oops).  Nobody kicked us off the bench, but we kept getting smiling looks from Shannon as The Next Band Up.  I think she was amused.

So.  The quest into music, and into the art world at large, continues.  Rock on.  More music on tap for next week, assuming I get myself organized on details like tickets, etc.  I'm unlikely to ever be able to provide great insight into musical talents and trends, musical theory, etc., but it feels good to be out in the world, sucking in some art, basking in melody and passion.

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