Butch Ross, Brigid Kaelin and The Reptile House, 28th May, 2010
Invariably we enjoy a night out at The Liquid Ship and last Friday was no exception. Jim and I were looking forward to catching up with our friends Dochan and The Bluesbunny and seeing a couple of acts on tour from USA Brigid Kaelin and Butch Ross. We were particularly looking forward to seeing Patrick Monaghan in action with his band The Reptile House, as the last time we were at one of his gigs we were blown away.
We went along early so that we could have a wee chat before the gig got underway as there is nothing worse than folk talking during performances, particularly in small, intimate venues like the Ship. This proved to be an excellent move as, as well as, getting a chance to find out what The Bluesbunny and Dochan had been up to and have a wee natter with Patrick, we also got a chance to meet Butch and Brigid and hear all about their Scottish tour.
They seem to have had a great time at their gigs and were impressed by the lovely Scottish scenery, particularly the sunsets in Mull, and they rather liked being introduced to some fine whiskies along the way. Very nice folk and once the gig got going they proved also to be pretty talented.
Butch was up first and the singer/songwriter from Chatanooga, Tennessee treated us to a very unusual set with some tremendous work on the Mountain Dulcimer. Particularly impressive was his rendition of Richard Thompson's song '1952 Vincent Black Lightning' and we also enjoyed hearing Butch's original tunes. Brigid, who hails from Louisville, Kentucky, joined him on the stage and the duo worked very well together. A multi-instrumentalist, she played accordion, guitar, and was delighted to show her skills on Patrick's keyboards, then she entranced the audience by playing a couple of tunes on a saw - yeah, a saw!!!
The Reptile House (Patrick Monaghan - Vocals/Piano/Organ/Guitar, Chris Monaghan - Vocals/Bass/Guitar, Steph Black - Vocals/Classical/Folk Guitar, Eddie McGuinney) brought the evening to a close in fine style. Patrick's voice is pretty astonishing, not the first time Jim has asked me "Where does that voice come from?". Deep, tuneful and totally sincere, the band work great together and have compiled a brilliant set.
They've got some superb songs and they're never going to be accused of 'all sounding the same'. Loads of variety with tones of jazzy/blues (Happy To Be), tunes you could dance to (First Light)and even some Celtic rock (The Wonderous Wood). I loved it all and can just see them bringing the house down and everyone on the floor dancing at a large venue. The folk at the Ship just couldn't get enough.
These guys clearly love playing music - and they are so very good at it.
Catch The Reptile House at Folk, Blues and Beyond back at The Free Candy Sessions at The Liquid Ship on 18th June, 2010.
Pat Byrne, 1st June, 2010