My daughter the biologist tells me that crosspollination is a good thing, yielding interesting and beneficial results. After hearing Holey Miss Moley tear it up at the Amsterdam with help from members of four other bands, I’d say she’s exactly right.
The crosspollination made this a fun show, but make no mistake about it: Holey Miss Moley owned the night, with the strongest performance from them I’ve ever seen. I would make the same comment I’ve made about so many other bands, paraphrasing Tim Turner of Shak Nasti: “These boys have been practicing!”
Holey Miss Moley is a quintet dripping in jazz, funk, rock and blues with a touch of reggae and ska thrown in for good measure. The rhythm section of Kenny Harvey and Tony Morales (bass and drums) made sure everything was locked down tight, deep in the groove, while Chuck McIntyre jumped back and forth between his keyboards and his alto saxophone. Christian Ryan (alto sax) is currently playing (extremely well) with so many Florida bands that you’d need a program just to keep it all straight. He is a monster.
And once again Jacob Cox on guitar blew me away. In fact, there are so many great guitar players here in the center swath of Florida it is truly amazing. This music scene is so strong and so vibrant. And Cox can play with anybody. This was just a superior outing for them all.
When I arrived at the Amsterdam (first time – what a great place in downtown St. Pete!), I immediately ran into Chris Sgammato of Displace – and his lovely mom! Partway through the first set, HMM arm-twisted Chris into getting his alto sax, and from there things began to get nuts – in the very best way possible. They smoked three or four great songs before set break.
By this point, the members of Come Back Alice had drifted in after an early gig *somewhere* in St. Pete (I couldn’t find it!). Several tunes into the second set, they called up Tony Tyler, CBA’s triple-threat man (vocals, guitar, B3), to play drums! on “One Way Out” (well, it was an ABB song – things got a bit fuzzy). OK, amend that: quadruple-threat! Then CBA’s superb drummer, Yral Morris, got on the traps, and later it was Big Bad John Werner’s turn on bass. Everybody was having a blast! (I am just sorry Miss Dani Jaye) didn’t come up!)
Andy Lytle of Happy Campers also did sit-ins on guitar AND bass, and that was great, too. After a second short set break, Meesta Juanjamon of Cope and his tenor sax stepped up to the mike, and it was just heavenly. After a covers-heavy first set (a very wise decision given the make-up of the crowd, they played lots of HMM originals. At one point, I said to myself, “I KNOW this song. What is it?” DUH! It was “Devil Funk,” the single just released earlier in the day on youTube. I DID know it, and it sounded awesome.
And I called a cover that is a favorite of mine, “Ain’t No Use.” With no disrespect to the Meters or Panic or anybody, this was a righteous version of the song. It bespoke the new level that Holey Miss Moley’s boys (well, they’re all “boys” to me!) have reached. I am loving life and the wonderful music scene here in Florida.
SO GET OUT AND SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC, WON’T YOU, PLEASE?