Hop Along formally (Hop Along Queen Ansleis) played first, to the disappointment of some late fans. It was her turn to test the unknown sound factor. She played a solo electric set. Yes, it would have been great to see her with the band, but she handled the new material well. A new song, “Sally” had whispers and vocal intensity. She employed great fast strumming and a few pedal adjustments revving it up when needed. The band would be proud! “Junk Yard James,” the vocals were the star with a few muffled strums, guitar body hits, and slow, steady kick drum by Allison Crutchfield of P.S Eliot. There was quite a large crowd, and Hop Along (Francis Quinlan) could silence a crowd and move them. So as loud and as fast as she got when it came time to hear her whispers, everyone could! WOW, I bought a 7-track demo!! It offers a diverse mix of styles, including all the festive quirky folk elements only morphed into an edgier and much louder electric recipe. Impressive!!
Next was an Australian group, The Diamond Sea, making their second appearance at the Silent Barn. Three female players and a male drummer create a smart intricate dialogue between instruments in the spirit between punk, noise, and rock. I was fascinated to look and listen.
P.S. Eliot, those awesome youngins from Alabama bring a straightforward down-home punk that is very catchy, bouncy, and rich in melody. The sing hook-along high-pitched yelps are to die for in songs like “The Troubled Medium.” The 5 song demo I bought has a muffled garage sound with megaphone vocals and is the kind of contagious fun I live for.
Little Lungs enthusiastically closed the show with high energy and great playing. With this group, it is not just making sure they play the songs it is totally about doing it. Nice bass playing as well. The multifaceted Angie Boylon plays guitar in this outfit but was the drummer for Each Other’s Mothers (reunited show in August Silent Barn) and Cheeky. I left the Silent Barn with a beautiful feeling about women musicians. I am from the generation raised during the beginning of the women's movement. Technically these are the children of my generation. It is great to see young women taking command of their lives booking and driving across the US for one Epic adventure and doing it with skill, conviction, and love. What was really cool was that the next young wave of female musicians not only came to the show but was allowed to be there! Three groups have released with Salinas Records Hop Along 10-inch Wretches P.S. Eliot Introverted Romance in our Troubled Minds, LP Debut Little Lungs Hoist Me UP 7 inch released in 2008 Flickr set HERE.
I've seen her many times, but after seeing her that day, I was thrilled with the new direction of her singing, phrasing, and song structure. Without losing her originality, she has matured in her writing and delivery.
If You Make It
To all my readers, enjoy this Pink Couch Session of Hop Along Queen Ansleis. David Garwacke, creator of a wonderful new site called If You Make It, films the Pink Couch Sessions. If you stay tuned, he will upload Hop Along on the Pink Couch, performing her arrangement of Billy Idol's song "Dancing with Myself". This is an amazing cover!!
This site is true to its intentions, and Dave has been doing a great job sharing the talents of many independent bands and acoustic performers. If You Make It is on my radar.
The supportive crowd quickly took their places on the stage platform and closely packed the surrounding areas. Being close to the band, the crowd assumed the responsibilities of a supporting cast of veteran “War Eagles.”
Together they did a fifteen-song set of old and new material, including encores that didn’t take much prompting. In the song “Checking Out,” the audience weighed in with / I’m going home, I’m coming home / that’s where I’m going / building momentum. During “Restless,” the crowd/ band did their best. Langhorne, as a band leader, reprimanded us like a loving parent. Smiling, he said, “You got to learn the song.”
Crammed together and in it together, Mr. Slim still found space for his convoluted antics. He strutted with his guitar in the confined space, made priceless facial expressions, and sang on a drum set to maximize his voice level. Malachi subdued his usual drumming intensity and picked it up only for effect. Paul lent support on bass, playing some fine solo interludes. With little room to breathe, they never missed a beat.
Tonight sealed my belief in this band’s ability to connect with an audience. They have heart, authenticity, talent, and a love for music performance that sets them apart from other bands. Whether they are opening for the Pogues at Irving Plaza or playing acoustically at the Rockstar Bar, Langhorne Slim knows how to deliver.
This curated night of music at the Rock Star Bar rarely happens in the music scene today. The night's mix of eclectic music styles created an atmosphere that celebrates the diversity of the genre. In between acts, music tracks set a mood with songs by Hank Williams III, Musical Youth, Mongo Joy, and a few awesome recordings of the one-man band Abner Jay.
The night started colorfully with a cover band that did a fine job channeling Janis Joplin. Janis appeared in the form of a man extravagantly dressed to replicate. This was the only band not part of the original lineup but was a fun opening.
Jazz duo Tyler Miller, vocalist, guitar player, and trumpeter Dan Blanketchip played jazz standards. We were treated to tunes like “Saint James Infirmary,” "Dinah," and "Honeysuckle Rose." They exchanged duties throughout the set. The trumpet playing was pristine, while Tyler played guitar with ease and dexterity. His vocals were perfect.
The mood switched gears as the stylish Honne Wells stepped onto the platform and slowly sat with the guitar in hand. He steps, picks, slides, whistles, and sings with a voice that has never seen the light of day. He brings reverence and humor, channeling a slice of Americana with a refreshing new twist.
The time was right for the upbeat original folk styling of Hop Along Queen Ansleis. Her fans gravitated towards her as she began her set with “Spinach Water,” holding a small touring guitar. She glowed and emanated joy as her powerful voice reached a range of high octaves with ease and veracity. Her set was a mix of favorites from her 2005 debut, “Freshman Year,” and new tunes soon to be recorded. She sang an outstanding cover of Hank William's “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” It rang with originality and was so beautifully arranged I almost didn’t recognize it. She is a captivating performer ready for a wider audience.
The crowd was unprepared for the Charm City Drug Band but thoroughly embraced their NY debut performance. This Baltimore collective assembled its instruments on-site. Finding anything that can be banged, rubbed, or hammered at the bar. The night’s set up was a plastic bin, metal piping, wooden dowels, a metal urn, and discarded refrigerated shelving propped up against the back wall of the platform. The improvisational clatter beat and surged organically, creating a beguiling sound. The audience was perked with interest. As the players went into overdrive, so did the PA.
The PA failure led to a delightful accident that propelled Langhorne Slim's impromptu acoustic session. The melding of great musicians was no accident. They were a sampling of one person’s eclectic and passionate taste and, in my opinion, a masterful night of music.
04 /19 / 07 Rock Star Bar lineup curated by: Marlon Ziello
Related articles by Obsession Collection: Langhorne Slim
Hop Along Queen Ansleis
|Rock Star Bar 04 /19/ 2007|
The essence of what you hear on this CD, she can accomplish live without all the instrumentation. In January of this year, I saw her at Matchless in Brooklyn. There was a nice showing of her fan base, but the rest of the crowded bar didn't know her. The fans were up close and embracing Frances. She started the set using her guitar as percussion, and after she sang the first note, everyone moved forward. The bar was silent. People stood on barstools to get a better look. As the set continued, the audience clapped, stomped, and sang along appropriately. It is a joy watching her look up to recall every word and nuance, smiling from ear to ear, and singing to the rafters!!
Freshman year was Hop Along's first effort, which is remarkable. She is currently working on another full-length. Can't wait!!!
Freshman Year LP