Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Megan Jean Band Commands You To Dance

After our two shows in Savannah, GA -- the last booked shows of the tour -- we were invited to come back to play the barn jam in Charleston a second time.  (Remember Eddie?  That place.)  We rolled back into town and killed a few days smoking hookah and going to the beach with Brent and Nat, our Charleston buddies, before the day of the show.

We played our set and things went well -- 40-50 people, good response, but low cd sales -- and then settled in to listen to the other bands.  The one after us was a great bluegrass/zydeco crew that had been playing together for 20 years, and everyone got up and danced like crazy fools.

So we all thought the high point of the night had come and gone when the next band came up.  It was just a duo -- this heavy chick wearing black and lots of eyeliner and carrying a blues guitar, and this long-haired music-nerd-looking guy with an upright bass -- and it's hard to follow an energetic set like that with just two people.

They proceeded to kick everyone's ass in the whole crowd.  The woman had an intense voice, alternatingly growling and operatic.  She laid down this piece of plywood and mic'ed it, and when she stomped on it, it was like a bass hit and a snare at the same time, and you couldn't not feel the rhythm.  But mostly, you felt the music because she felt it: her face got screwed up, her eyeliner was blotting like she was crying, she'd clench her teeth and spit words out.

I would have doubted it was possible to play to the same level with nothing but a bass in your hands, but the guy onstage did.  He did everything I can think of to bring noise out of a bass: bowed harmonics, jazz-style plucking, skreetchy noise from the bottom of the instrument, playing percussively with the wood of the bow... it was obvious before I talked to him later that this guy had studied this instrument alone in a room for years and years.

Go give them a listen --

1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks for the love, though I prefer the term "Polish" rather than "heavy chick." :) Megan Jean