It was hot as hell outside, the odor was heavy, the crowd was packed, the parking…non existent and yes….the pants on every other person were tight. I stumbled through the sea of strangers with uneven hair cuts, flannel shirts and a great thirst for PBR and Miller high life, (no judgment mind you, a man is only as good as the company that he keeps) till I reached the bar. I ordered two Millers (double fisting as some say) and made my way back to the center. You may be asking yourself where was he. Why was he there and who the hell came up with the term double fisting for holding two beers…Some questions are best left unanswered *see double fisting. I was at the ever elusive and downright rustic T-Eddies. The purpose was to see a free show put on by local Louisville favorites The Ladybirds as well as the R&B, funk infused Junk Yard Dogs. In case you missed it the key word in that sentence was free, seeing two amazing, soulful bands should cost something so it’s nice to see local musicians play a show for the fans and it was fantastic to see the spectacular turnout of the fans for the musicians.
When I walked in the music was already in full force. The velocity of the horns, the dynamic sounds of the keys, the rapid backbeat of the drums and the earthy tones of the vocals made a wall of sound that resonated off the floor. The Junk Yard Dogs are a multi piece band that are every part soul, funk and R&B. What I enjoyed the most was the surreal sound they created, the layers of music kept the listeners on point demanding attention and delivering well crafted rhythm and blues music. As I finished my second Miller and went on to my third I couldn’t help but feel like I had heard this sound before, then it hit me, like a wave of patchouli, Janice Joplin. That is where I had heard these vocals before; they were both tough and sweet much like a fine wine. The set had finished and the band left everything on the stage. Their fusion of sounds made for a delightful finish, it was nothing short of impressive. I walked outside with a swagger and prepared myself for The Ladybirds.
The Ladybirds rockabilly, no hold bars sound erupts in a burst. The songs chug along and present a certain lightness that has been sorely missed in the local scene. Their abrupt tempo changes, soulful approach to rock and their ability to perform these songs carelessly surprised me. The keys and guitars were a perfect marriage, the touch of rock, swing and jazz created an environment I had never been in before. The Ladybirds performed a short set, which I’m sad to say, but they had consequently performed earlier that night. Yet the three or four songs spoke volumes about their ambition and ability as song writers, they have perfected a style of rock that kept the fans enthralled. The crowd all nodded in a cohesive synthesis, my foot would not stop tapping and the room was covered with an air of cool as their last song wound down. All in all the show was a perfect example of what the local scene in Louisville needs, more musicians stepping outside of their comfort zones and creating a sound that cannot be replicated. The Junk Yard Dogs and The Ladybirds changed my opinion of soul/R&B/jazz rock. The night was at an end so I put out my last cigarette and downed my fourth Miller. Amongst the sea of sound and the waves of people I found myself lifted, to know that there are musicians in this town with this kind of bravery to be who they are and to play with such passion is a relief. I only say that because one can only turn on any syndicated radio station and hear the regurgitated rock that pollutes the air waves. No wonder it’s so damn hot in this town, all that garbage on the radio stations is polluting our air. Support local, buy local and live local. It’s the Louisville way. The Louisville Pod is wired.