HOLEY MISS MOLEY – Ka’Tiki Sunset Beach, St. Pete 04.18.14
INFINITE GROOVE ORCHESTRA – 3 Daughters Brewery, St. Pete 04.18.14
WESTER JOSEPH’S STEREO VUDU – The Ale and the Witch, St. Pete 04.18.14
I finally hit the elusive triple last night: three bands at three different venues. I almost had a homer, because my original intent for the evening was to see Wishbone Ash at the Ringside, but I ran out of gas. St. Petersburg is one of the places locally where this would even be possible, given so many great clubs willing to present great music on a regular basis. The sad part is that these events, the ones you and I like, almost never appear in the newspaper under the concert listings. Thanks heavens for jambase and the interwebs!
I knew I wanted to start out on the beach at the Ka’Tiki to check out Holey Miss Moley with new addition on keyboards Shema Freeman. It was a great set, WITH a sunset after a day of rain, and Shema has a great voice in addition to her keyboard skills. They have a ton of great original material, and once again they absolutely nailed my favorite of their covers, “Ain’t No Use,” with a nice slow section at the end before raging to a close, and it really benefitted from Shema’s vocal backing that of guitarist Jacob Cox, who had yet another great night. I also had a much better view of drummer Tony Morales than I usually do, and his work all night was very impressive. Mark your calendars: HMM will be playing live on In the Groove on WMNF 88.5 (and wmnf dot org) on Tuesday, April 29th, from 11 to midnight.
I had planned to head straight to the Ringside, but a little bird told me that Infinite Groove Orchestra was playing at 3 Daughters Brewery, a relatively new venue. My car listened to the little bird. Let me just say that this was a bizarre event. 3 Daughters is a giant adult playroom, with ping pong, darts, jenga, cornhole and a bunch of other stuff. The bar in front opens into the actual warehouse, with the huge doors open and people inside and out. And, with the exception of maybe a dozen people, they might as well have been piping in Hot 100 Hits or something; most were oblivious to the music.
The irony was that IGO sounded spectacular and played as well as I’ve ever seen them. It would have been easy to go through the motions and phone this one in, but I think the boys took it as a personal challenge to rise above the din of the game-players. I was blown out – once again. Great jazz fusion filled the warehouse. Festy Man Robin and I were in front of the stage, swept up in the groove. In particular, Jon Shea’s acoustic bass sounded amazing in the room (which is funny, because he said he couldn’t tell at all!). And I enjoyed Josh Formanek playing his personal version of Simon with his pedal array, matching superb playing with magic sounds. If you go to 3 Daughters to HEAR music, understand that you will have to stand right up front and cheerlead.
I was STILL thinking about the Ringside when drummer Adam Volpe (nice to meet his dad, Joe, and Adam’s ladyfriend) asked what else was going on. I checked The Ale & the Witch website and asked Adam about Wester Joseph’s Stereo Vudu. Adam said something like HELL YES, so I headed over there. Adam, Josh, Joe, ladyfriend and another friend also went.
That was a great recommendation. Wester Joseph’s Sereo Vudu (out of Gainesville) is a really solid, funky band (two guitars, bass, drums, percussion, keys, female vocalist). They knocked out some solid covers but saved their best work for some original compositions. We were especially taken by the female singer, whose voice had great beauty and power. Add another band to my ever-expanding list!
We capped off the evening (I had some cheese grits) as the Infinite Groove boys and I sat for another half hour or so sharing stories. That’s what I call a great night. I’ll stretch a double into a triple any time I can!