Archive for the 'Dallas Area Live Music' Category

BAcksliders/Charming Gardeners at Lee Harvey’s

Charming Gardeners and Backsliders at Lee Harvey's

For any of you guys out there in Bloggerville who have not been to Lee Harvey’s, you need to make sure you check it out. It is a one of a kind Dallas landmark that you won’t find it near any of the common night spots or other businesses. While it is somewhat isolated (right-chow)it is a great place to sit outside, enjoy live music, cold drinks, and great food. You can’t go wrong with their tacos or burgers. Actually… I have yet to have anything down there that I didn’t really enjoy. Last Saturday night, on top of their food, atmosphere and drinks, two great local bands on the stage at Lee Harvey’s, and I thought I should investigate.

Charming Gardeners and Backsliders at Lee Harvey's

First up were the Charming Gardeners, who put on a great set full of energy and rock and roll. They played a lot of original tracks, including songs from their new self titled EP. Their colorful leading lady, Amy Curnow, showcased her vocal talents with great support from the band. She has tremendous range, so you never know what the next song might sound like. The crew is very talented, and Mark Solomon really stood out with his guitar skills (I just wished he would have stood in the light more so I could snap better pics!). The crowd responded very well to the show, and I would highly recommend checking them out if you get the chance. If you want to check out their sound, you can find their EP here on iTunes for 3.99. I recommend taking a listen to Shut and For All I Know to get a little taste. If you want to see a recent interview I did with Amy, click here.

Charming Gardeners and Backsliders at Lee Harvey's

I can’t exactly explain it…. but there is just something about The BAcksliders. They are one of those bands you just need to see once in a while to get your fix for heavy rock and a kick ass show. The BAcksliders are a family affair with brothers Chris and Jason Bonner on bass and guitar, and Kim Bonner on vocals. The only non-Bonner is Taylor Young (of the O’s) on the drums. The show was very high energy with heavy guitar lines and beats. Kim has an incredible raspy/sultry voice that you can’t help but enjoy. The crowd was rocking right along with them as they played songs from their current album Thank You, and tracks from previous records (and yes, You’re Welcome is one of them :) )
If you don’t read any of my jabbering, I hope you read this: Not only can you hear their entire new album (and new single) on their website, you can download it for free. No strings attached. No login, contact info, credit card number, rebate…just a free download. FREEEEE! Click here, and go to the store tab. The whole album is great, and the first two tracks will give you an idea of what you are in for. You can also find their work on iTunes, including You’re Welcome. Check out Fat Girls and Typically I Don’t Mind for a little sample.

The only downer for the night was that there was a problem with the PA system that was somewhat annoying. The vocals would cut out (except for in the monitors) intermittently, and stay out for about 5-10 seconds, and then come back in. I first noticed it when the Charming Gardeners were playing, and by the time The BAcksliders made it to the stage it seemed to be happening more often. It kinda kills the flow of the song when you lose your vocals throughout the song, but neither band let that slow them down. They powered through and kept the show going.

Charming Gardeners and Backsliders at Lee Harvey's

Overall it was a great night. Both bands played great sets, and the crowd responded very well to both of them. I got my BAcksliders fix, and had plenty of cool beer from the nice folks at Lee Harvey’s to keep me cool on a summer night.

Charming Gardeners and Backsliders at Lee Harvey's

Opening Bell’s 7th Birthday!

Mandi Perkins, and Salim at OBC

For what it’s worth, even though they have had their name changed for several years, it will always first be Standard and Pours to me. It is hard to believe that Opening Bell is already 7 years old! For many years now, Opening Bell has been one of my favorite places to enjoy live music in a relaxed environment with a good drink (beer/wine/coffee, pick your poison), and when Pascale told me she was having a little birthday party, I knew I had to head down and help them celebrate.

Mandi Perkins, and Salim at OBC

This week, and next week can be a really good time to catch some great musical talent in Dallas that you wouldn’t normally get to see. Often, bands going to and coming back from South By South West often times play around town on their way down and on their way back from Austin. This creates the opportunity to see some great talent from all over the country playing on week nights at all sorts of venues. Mandi Perkins, and her band Of Verona from L.A., started the birthday party off early tonight at Opening Bell. They put on a hell of a good set before Salim Nourallah, Danny Malone, and Alex Dezen(of the Damwells).

Mandi Perkins, and Salim at OBC

The venue was standing room only. The music was fantastic, and the birthday cake was served on coffee filters. All in all, a great night, and a very happy birthday for Opening Bell. For a few more pics from the night, click here.

Mandi Perkins, and Salim at OBC

Beautiful girls w/tattoos, Rockn’ music..what’s not to like?


The best thing about the show at the City Tavern this Friday night, was the fact that it was in fact this Friday and not last Friday. Now don’t get me wrong; the bill for the night was pretty fantastic, featuring two bands with beautiful leading ladies, and a third band with talent on tap. That alone is pretty fantastic, but for some reason I thought the show was last weekend when I was stranded out of town and unable to attend. Sometimes being easily confused has it’s benefits. :)

The lineup for the evening: The Charming Gardeners, Cricket Taylor and the Electromagnetics, and The Slack.


The night proved to be a great night for some live rockn’ live music The Charming Gardeners started off the night with leading lady Amy Curnow on lead vocals. If Amy looks familiar, she and Jack have become the face/icons of Lee Harevy’s, and there are some great pics of her at Lee Harvey’s floating around. I digress. Their set was great, with a good mix of tempo and vocal range. I really need to get my hands on some of their recordings. On another note, they dealt well with the drunk (high?…both?) guy screaming, stomping, singing(?), spilling beer, and asking for “love” repeatedly. How does one get that messed up by 9PM?


Next was Cricket Taylor and the Electromagnetics. These guys are a jammn’ three piece band that even supplied their own dancers (sweet!). If there is ever a Pulp Fiction 2, I am convinced they will be on the sound track, and probably make an appearance in the movie. The songs were mostly upbeat, with heavy blues/soul influences. Their look… imagine the Boxmasters, but swap out Billy Bob Thorton’s crazy, for Cricket Taylor’s “dayyyyyyyum!”. At one point I counted 10 photographers taking her photo on the front row; clearly she is as lovely as she is talented. They put on a great performance, and had the Tavern jamming along with them.



The last show of the night was another great Dallas local band: The Slack. These guys had a big challenge to over come when they took the stage. Both bands before them had beautiful, blond, tattooed lead singers….and The Slack…well, they didn’t have the necessary equipment in that department. Fear not; they adapted and overcame with their secret sauce. One word comes to mind when I think of these guys, and that word is: Talent. Chris Holt heads up the lead vocals and lead guitar, and he takes lead guitar to a whole new level. It shouldn’t be possible to do what he does with just one guitar in the band, but somehow he does it. Add another one of the most talented musicians in the city, Eric Neal, on bass guitar, along with keys and some drums and you have the components for a badass show.



Overall the night was a great one, and the music was superb. If you are at the Tavern, I highly recommend Nachos. Random food suggestion, brought to you by!

Two for one! (Zach’s being lazy)


Please forgive the brevity of this post, but I have to get this one knocked out as a quick 2 for 1 post to help me get caught up. I have been swamped with pictures, interviews, and movies, and I have been running way behind on getting these posts out. So, I’ll let the video and the pics do most of the talking on this post. Below you will find a few tidbits from the last two shows I went to see: Sarah Jaffe/Robert Gomez, and Ruby James. Both are acts that I’ve been trying to see for over a year now, and both shows I’d recommend.




Kristy Kruger at OBC

Kristy Kruger

I think I might try to mix things up a little bit on this post by adding in a little video to go along with my usual photos and comments. Along with my my still camera, I also took my new little video camera along to see how well the image and sound quality worked out. So far I think it turned out pretty well, and I hope it adds a little bit to these posts and reviews for you guys.

The show was a lot of fun, and I”m glad I made it down there. I have never seen anyone who has a sound or style like Kristy Kruger, and it is one of those performances that impresses me every time I see it. Kristy is a touring machine, so there is a good chance she will end up in your neck of the woods. If you get the chance to see her show, make sure to check it out! Opening Bell has had a really good line up lately; make sure to keep an eye on their calendar as well.

Kristy Kruger