Thor Bendickson and Wayne Tagle host WMNF’s In the Groove program on Tuesday nights, spinning the best in studio and live jamband music. The dynamic duo have hosted a number of live musical events such as the Little Manatee Jam Fest and several Groovefests at Skipper’s Smokehouse. Those shows would include a half-dozen or more groups in the jamband mold.
For this year’s event this Saturday, September 17 at Skipper’s, they decided to invite their buddies from Tie-Dyed Tuesday, a.k.a. The Trip Strip. Tuesday evenings at WMNF start with The Freak Show hosted by Grateful Ed Greene, presenting great hippie music from the ’60s and ’70s, most prominently the Grateful Dead. His show is followed by The Dream Clinic, a two-hour tour de force of brilliant rock music, the brainchild of Dennis Stone. Cactus, Roy Buchanan, Zappa, rare and unusual rock from all over the globe — Stone’s library is astounding. And In the Groove wraps up the six-hour mindfunk.
So the plan was this: each show find a band representing the music prominently featured on air. Let’s see what they came up with!
For Greene and The Freak Show, the answer was obvious: Uncle John’s Band. UJB have been playing Thursday nights at Skipper’s for years — more than 900 shows at Skipper’s and many more at locations around the area. The real feather in their cap came when The Dead invited them to play in Chicago at a venue near Soldier Field before each of the Fare Thee Well shows. That’s how you spell respect!
Stone and his Dream Clinic compatriots often do two-hour specials, perhaps none so prominently as their Zappa tributes. So they invited Jerry Outlaw, the genius behind Bogus Pomp (one of the world’s premier bands playing the music of Zappa), to bring another of his creations, The HubbTones. Outlaw is a guitarist of monumental talent, channeling Hendrix, blues, Zappa, metal and more. The HubbTones are Jerry Outlaw, Rick Olson, Pat Buffo, Royse Bassham and Leo Binetti, playing “the Deep Cuts, the ones you don’t get to hear very often.” Just like Stone’s program.
Which leaves the In the Groove boys. They chose Runaway Gin, a clever mashup name for one of the most prominent Phish cover bands (Runaway Jim + Bathtub Gin). If you split open and melt this Charleston SC quartet, you’ll find Andy Greenberg, guitar/vocals, Bobby Hogg, bass/vocals, John Fitzgerald, keyboards/vocals, and John Pope, drums/vocals, doing their version of the Phab Phour.
As UJB does at Skipper’s on Thursdays, Runaway Gin play every Sunday at the Charleston Pour House and tour constantly across the greater Southeast region. Last summer the band sold out the Hard Rock Cafe “Fare Thee Well” Afterparty on July 4th in Chicago and catapulted themselves onto the national music scene.
The schedule is:
5:00 – 6:30 – Freakin’ – with Uncle John’s Band
7:00 – 8:30 – Dreamin’ – with The HubbTones
9:00 – 12:00 – Groovin’ – with Runaway Gin
Get ready, all you freaks! I’m dreamin’ of groovin’ to the tunes!
[Full disclosure: I host a jazz program at WMNF. But you know full well I would have written this anyway!]