NOTE: Special thanks to Armya for making this come together, 11th hour style. If I wasn’t ordering from Ticketmaster, and paying who-knows-what for fees, I’m not comfortable… Brown Paper Tickets managed the ticket sales for this venue, which is cool for some… besides, I thought to myself, there’s no way this show is going to sell out. It did.
We both contacted the venue… Armya was successful; I wasn’t… explaining one of the M’s in SCTMMC stands for Music, which we wholeheartedly support on our website. He spoke with owner Andreas Kleinert who reserved two tickets for us at the door, in the name of journalism… Scroti style… which begs the question… Why wasn’t I forwarded a Press Pass?
Located at 251 W. Fifth Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, The Shrunken Head offers live music, open mic nights, and may be extremely easy to locate, in the day time. Not so much, at night. My friend and I were having problems finding it, but deduced the venue was located behind the fleet of vans and trailers parked in front of the establishment, belonging to none other than the groups we were here to see… screw GPS, Siri! We’ll find our own way!
The first person I introduced myself to was Nick Magoteaux, SH’s sound engineer. Super nice guy, and after reading the reviews, seeing and listening to his efforts both before the show and during, my hat is off to him… Nick didn’t disappoint, both helping the bands manage their sound, setup and teardown… solid effort, Nick!
I also met Mike ‘Snappi’, the manager of the GD Gallows, who just so happened to be working the merchandise displays.
… again, super nice! I asked how he knew Jimmy Jam, and he whispered in my ear, “It goes back to our old cow tippin’ days.” That’s when I left, to go get a beer.
Having not paid our entry fee yet, I inquired of the bartender how they collect. She said well before show time, they corral everyone back out of the bar, and then process tickets from a list, probably printable through Brown Paper Tickets. Sure enough, our names were written in, at the end of the list, just like Andreas and Armya had worked out.
A couple of tall PBR’s and we were ready to be entertained, and indeed we were…
First up, The Urban Pioneers.
The group consisted of Jared McGovern on banjo/guitar, Liz Sloan on fiddle, and Martin Sargent on double bass. What a great opening act! Their feel good performance consisted of original songs that encompass old time hillbilly music, western swing, rockabilly, and even a few gypsy type songs for good measure. Jared may have been the front man, but all three contributed vocally, and very well, at that. Whether playing banjo or guitar, Jared fast paced strumming carried the band through their well-timed set… even broke a string midway through, never missing a beat to finish out the song. No drums, mind you… in between booming bass notes, Martin was also playing a percussive slap on his double bass. Made me wonder how long it takes to pick this technique up to be proficient? I’m thinking he’s been playing a while. I saved the best for last, though… Ms. Sloan was a spitfire on fiddle. My goodness, could she play! Very expressively, too… great job guys!
Next up, Scott Biram…
… jam master, one-man band extraordinaire! His setup consisted of about 3 Gibson acoustics and a couple of electrics, including an Explorer… and, were they well worn. From the way he played, these instruments were not faux relic’d, at all. A beat driven stomp provided the vehicle for most songs, with the audience joining in, as well. Definitely, a Texas blues influence in his playing, and at one point in the show the glass slide made an appearance… phenomenal.
Our headliner for tonight, which you have heard our fearless leader highlight one or two times, here and there, was none other than the GD Gallows!
I caught up with the bassist, early on, and asked if I could get a pic with him for our website… super cool guy, too!
… and, this is what I got in return… I wonder if he knows where my nose has been.
After replacing a noisy instrument cord, they commenced bringing it. My buddy and I…
… only stayed for about 3 of their songs, as it was almost midnight, and I had a pumpkin carriage to return, before getting charged another day’s rental. The Gallows did not disappoint! Musically tight, with a great overall sound, their genre is hard to nail down. If you kegged a mix of rockabilly, punk, and metal, with a smidgen of bluegrass thrown in for good measure, from the tap you would get a healthy dose of the Gallows. At one point, the lead singer/guitarist morphed into what I considered a real life animation, straight out of ‘The Mask’, speaking in tongues between verses, which fired up the audience even more.
Rounding out their sound, the rhythm section consisted of a 3-piece drum set, a thunderous double bass, and a rock solid second guitarist who doubled, sometimes tripled up instrumentally, providing support with mandolin, banjo, and possibly a flugelhorn.
Overall, a great night to spend with some outstanding musicians! Much thanks to Andreas, Snappi, The Urban Pioneers, Scott Biram, and The GD Gallows, as well as our own Armya for making this all possible. I highly suggest if the entourage stops at a town near you, it’s well worth the trip to see them live.
Love and Peace,