Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Brian Kinler Band Performs at Kulak’s Woodshed, 8-21-15

Brian Kinler Band performing "Mama's Gumbo Pot"
The Brian Kinler Band did a great set last night at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood. If you haven’t been to this venue, it definitely has its own particular vibe. The place is pretty small, and in order to make small feel intimate, there are couches and even a bed from which people can watch the concerts. Don’t worry: there are also chairs. Record jackets and CDs adorn the walls, along with a wide variety of other objects. The shows there are free, and the venue broadcasts them online. Because of the concert going out live on the internet, it had to begin at a specific time, and there was actually a countdown, to get the band onstage, which felt a bit odd.

Brian Kinler got things off to a fun start with the always-appreciated “Slobbertongue.” The band has a new member, Pete Merriweather, on drums, and Brian introduced him before starting the song. He also mentioned that the song is “about my favorite pastime – making out.” And before “Mama’s Gumbo Pot,” he talked about how he wanted to be a drummer himself, and told the audience about an early professional gig which resulted in a broken snare.

The newest Brian Kinler Band CD, The Race Against Time, has quite a different feel from earlier releases, and is much more in the dance realm, and features vocals on many of the tracks. So I was excited to see how these new songs would translate to the live experience. And after a false start, “Racing Against Time” was a very beautiful rendition. This is one of the CD’s instrumental tracks. They also did two of the tracks featuring Francesca Capasso on vocals: “Bombshell” and “I’d Give Up Everything But You.” “Bombshell” is the CD’s lead-off track, and is a lot of fun, and worked well live. “I’d Give Up Everything But You” is one of my personal favorites from the new album, and it was in my head all day leading up to the show, so I was especially excited to hear this one. It definitely had a different feel in the live context, but I really enjoyed it.

In addition to those two songs, Francesca Capasso sang several covers, including “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” “Baby, What You Want Me To Do,” “Mercedes Benz” and “At Last.” “Baby What You Want Me To Do” was one of the highlights of the set for me. Francesca Capasso has such power and emotion in her voice, and she can sing the hell out of a tune, and just own it. “At Last” was gorgeous.

And of course “Makes Me Smile” was as pretty and moving as always. That’s one of my favorites. And after it, Andrea Whitney led the band in “Orange Blossom Special.” Another of the highlights last night was “Wookiee Boogie.” This was a totally cookin’ rendition, played at a quick clip. Pete was on top of it, keeping things moving, much to Brian’s joy. Seriously, you could feel it. Afterwards, Brian and Matt Whitney agreed they’d never played it so fast before. In fact, Brian said his hands were shaking at the beginning of the following tune, “Rosedown.”

The show ended with a few more good covers sung by Francesca Capasso: “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Chain Of Fools” and “Respect.”

Set List
  1. Slobbertongue
  2. The Fall
  3. Mama’s Gumbo Pot
  4. Racing Against Time
  5. Makes Me Smile
  6. Orange Blossom Special
  7. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours
  8. Baby What You Want Me To Do
  9. Natural Woman
  10. Bombshell
  11. I’d Give Up Everything But You
  12. Mercedes Benz
  13. At Last
  14. Wookiee Boogie
  15. Rosedown
  16. The Devil Went Down To Georgia
  17. Don’t Leave Me This Way
  18. Chain Of Fools
  19. Respect 
There was no encore.

Here are a few photos from the night:

"The Fall"
"Baby What You Want Me To Do"
"I'd Give Up Everything But You"
"At Last"
"The Devil Went Down To Georgia"
"Don't Leave Me This Way"
Kulak’s Woodshed is located at 5230 Laurel Canyon Blvd., in North Hollywood, California. You can check out the venue’s website here.

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