When Sir Bachiness announced he would be playing in NYC on 1/12, I immediately knew where I'd be on my bday*. However, it was not until the day before that I realized it wasn't a Ten Feet Tall show. The Justin Whoosits Group? And there's a stand-up bass you say? Do tell.
As for Ella Lounge, it's a hip little joint on the LES with a classy, roaring 20's & 30's vibe. They feature a menu full of fresh fruit cocktails that will put the fizz-in-your-gin-pants**. I dig that. Downstairs where the stage is, a sign declared "Open Bar 8-9". What they fail to advertise is that the open bar only applies to cans of Miller High Life. Why not a sign that just says "Free Miller High Life 8-9"? I went upstairs to pay for a girly drink with muddled blackberries & mint, because that's how I roll. (Happy Hour til 9!)
The Justin Trawick Group are out of Arlington, VA and barely fit on the teeny stage. In fact, the bass player stood sideways all night, the drummer wasn't playing with a full set***, and they must have left their tenor sax guy in the car, cuz I didn't see him anywhere. The band's namesake- Justin Trawick, is the lead singer featured on acoustic guitar. In a world of cliched musical genres, that can really go either way-- but I'm very happy to report that this one went the good way. Quite full of gin I declared, "I'm really happy this isn't Dave-Matthews-Annoying or John-Mayer-Douchebaggy. I like this, this is cool." Now, let me attempt to articulate that without the massive amount of gin and with the handy aid of the interwebs: Justin Trawick's facebook profile lists Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, G. Love, & Jason Mraz as some favorite music-- this all makes sense. Gritty freight train & bluegrassy inspired hooky acoustic rock groove w/ some solid beat science.
It was an uber short set, which was unfortunate. We tried demanding "ONE MORE SONG", but the bartender wasn't having any of it. You can't stuff that many people in a basement and feed them free Miller High Life for an hour and expect it to end well-- so, we were already ahead of the game and moved upstairs.
In a post-show interview with electric guitar wiz, Josh Himmelsbach, he expressed gratitude for the raucous New York City crowd "We had a good turnout of people that came to see us and cheered us on." And as for being chosen as Tigerbeat's Centerfold of the Month, January 2010, "I was very honored to be chosen by Tigerbeat for Centerfold of the Month. I just wish they had airbrushed my chest hair a little bit better, because it looks like a forest in there." True dat, ladies.
The only real question I have about it all is: Can you call a song "bluegrass" if it's got a screaming electric guitar running through it? Not sure. But, I totally signed up on the email list & will definitely check them out again. The Justin Trawick Group, 1/12/10, Ella Lounge, NYC: 8.5 HUZZAHS! Great time had by all! Thanks for a groovy bday show!
No setlist, no tapers, and only three pics cuz my camera was super-wonky that night.
* Though totally tempted by the prospect of Cracker/CVB at Rev Hall w/ The Slightly Older TP.
** I don't know what this means.
*** That's not metaphorical.