Friday, June 09, 2017

The Lonesome Organist...

On this trip to Chicago it was kind of a kids fest with the grand kids along but me, Katie and Peter did make it out to to a little bar to see one of their favorites, the Lonesome Organist. 

The L.O. is a one man band show. This seems to be popular as I noticed at the recent Conroe Americana Festival there were a lot of guys with porch board stompers, kick drums kickers, tambourines and such on their feet doing a foot shake, march and tap in time to their tunes. The L.O. is kind of a misnaming as he does not play organ. He plays Accordion drums and a little twinkling kids piano all at the same time and then uses a looping pedal to lay a backing track while he plays fiddle, banjo or guitar.  He was very good. 

Singing and playing a couple of instruments that are real easy to sound bad on if you are not careful. 

Really great set of pipes with a fantastic vocal range from low to high. Note in to the right of his feet the small Roland Cube amp that he miced through The PA for some huge sounds. 

Why is a guy like this not famous? I'd say the music falls into the weird old America category. I think maybe in our not too distant past there were guys like this running around all over America playing the bars and medicine shows. TV and corporation radio playlist killed stuff like this because they told us what to like, what styles would be popular, that musicians would all be well dressed with $100 hair cuts and cute as buttons. Woe be it to the guy with the beat up fiddle. That won't look good on a 50 inch high def big screen.

Good reso/slide playing brought to mind the late Chris Whitley. Similar high yodel and open tuned chord progressions. 

Here's a photo of him playing the tinkling piano thing. Also did some tap dancing.  

There was an opening band by the name of Pillow Hammer. Now I have some pretty broad taste in music and am well aware that you should never say "I like all kinds of music" I can't say anything bad about this band's performance. They were tight, I usually like a band with trumpet in it, there were elements of free jazz type playing that was well done and organized and the overall live sound was on the mark. I'll have to put them down as not my favorite. 

One interesting piece of gear the singer had was a homemade leslie speaker, vibrato or chorus effect. This was some sort of fan thing in front of an amp that reproduced the old Lesile organ sound that was discovered by a lot of the mid 60s guitar heros. Sounded pretty good and I guess maybe a bargain when considered that this type of sound from an electronic guitar pedal will set you back a couple of hundred bucks for some of the mid line gear of this type.  

I bought his CD. I like all kinds of music. 


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