16 Aug. 2011

Grandpa Egg, Chance Wagner, Brian Vidmar, Ryan Puett, James Fisher, and Modern Motion on August 8 @ The Vollrath

Attending as many concerts as I do there are nights it sometimes runs all together.  Five bands of one genre, around the third band, I am catching myself losing concentration.  The Vollrath does some crazy ass nights of music occasionally that puts a hodgepodge in a blender and pushes the pulse button.  These are the nights I, and most of the audience, sit up and take notice  as the bands perform.  This night was a good example.  A quirky folk, bluegrass, experimental indie folk, protest folkster, and then wrapping the night up with a nod to the eighties; it was all represented.  Six acts equal a long night but I was not complaining.   Good people and great music is always worth losing a bit of sleep over.

Grandpa Egg is a shambolic folk duo from Nashville, TN.  Members are Jeb – guitar and Inga – keys.  They are a quirky group and Jeb has a pure voice that reminds of 60s folk.  They performed songs from their latest CD “Songs for my Cat” which is dedicated to Mokey, Jeb’s cat.  Fresh and original, they like to experiment but still maintain a musical integrity.  It is hard not to fall for the music and the two artists.  Look them up on Facebook and find out how to buy their CD  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grandpa-Egg/179349532116922?sk=info/.

Chance Wagner from Indy brought his guitar and banjo on stage and transported us to another era.  Dressed in his Sunday Best coveralls and hat, he wowed the audience with bluegrass standards.  Amazingly talented, it was nice to see someone so young pay homage to an important piece of our uniquely American music history.  You can check him out on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000142693418/.

Brian Vidmar is a rock artist from Greenwood.  This is a hard artist for me to review.  He has a good music and good songs but I felt like I was spending a lot of time wondering whom he sounds like.  After he performed, I caught myself wondering what his real voice sounded like.  Sometimes it is hard to explain what exactly is missing; I think in this case I did not believe this was the best he had to offer.  Follow him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Vidmar/104440439647048?sk=wall/.

Ryan Puett is a quirky Americana folk singer from Indianapolis.  I first saw him play guitar for Kevin Crafton.  After meeting him, I looked him up and found he is a great singer also.  He is a definite original and at times maybe pushes the creative or whimsy a bit far.  Some songs I did not connect with at all but others amazed me.  I am not saying this is a bad thing; there are a couple of artists on my play list who keep me guessing.  His song writing skills are varied and he can pull off upbeat songs as well as stripped-to-the-bones folk.   I am in love with his song “Honey Bees Dance More on Cocaine” which he says is a fact he learned on the discovery channel.  Unfortunately, he has no recording for it so I may make him sing it to me whenever I run into him until he does.  He is getting ready to record a new album “Cold Blue” which has a projected release this fall.  Follow Ryan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ryanpuettmusic?sk=info/.

James Fisher is a “loud” folk singer from Columbus OH.  The first thing I thought of when James started singing was “Wow!  He could be a heavy metal singer.”  As I listened to his music and his shouts against societal injustices, I then had an image of him being a singing Holden Caulfield.  Young, trying to figure shit out as he goes, and running a dialogue as he does it, he presents quite a figure on stage.  He does not preach from the stage though, he uses word play and humor to poke fun at the world and himself for being sucked into all the nonsense.  I may be a weirdo but I love when someone breaks up a night of music to make me think and laugh at myself a bit.  I have looked for an internet link so I could cyber stalk him and you could check him out too.  All I found was a MySpace page with his old group http://www.myspace.com/jamesjamescolumbus/.

Modern Motion is an indie rock band from Indianapolis, IN.  Members are Kirk Donlan – vocals, keys, Von Dozier – guitar, Kevin Whittington – bass, and Sam Pittman – drums.  The first think you notice about this band is the completely retro thing they have going, even in their attire.  Kirk had on a suit jacket, tie, Von had on a Don Johnson white jacket, and Kevin had on a fedora.  Then they started performing and even their music has this feel.  This is not saying they are a wannabe 80s band because they leave an original imprint.  They play with diversity; mixing up both tempo and sound.  They are skilled musicians and their vocals are flawless.  I am very happy they are on my calendar for future shows.  Find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/themodernmotion?sk=info/ and look up their videos, which nicely done in a black and white setting are great to watch.  How retro.

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