Sunday, October 23, 2005

Phantoms Of The Barrelhouse @ The Mojo Lounge

Last night, I dropped by the Mojo Lounge to take in the show by the Phantoms Of The Barrelhouse featuring: Barrelhouse Solly, Phil Harmonica, Scott Miller, Vic Vicena and Kenny Gross. I showed up at about 9:30. The place was packed to the rafters with people drinking and dancing during the all day Blues-A-Thon. They were treated to a fabulous performance which exceeded by high expectations.

The band played an ultra-long extended first set. I was floored when the first set ran for a little over a record two hours. Barrelhouse Solly, Phil Harmonica and Scott Miller all traded off vocal duties and each of them were in fine form. Barrelhouse Solly reminded the audience to lock up their women when he was in town. Unfortunately, one couple didn't heed the warning, but more on that later.

It must be said that the Phantoms Of The Barrelhouse are a very hearing friendly band. A couple of people mentioned that the lower volume levels made for a much more enjoyable listening time than some of the earlier rock-infused performances.

Scott Miller's guitar work was very impressive. He's a very good Blues guitar player. Phil Harmonica, or whatever name he's using these days, was sounding very good. His harp playing was very powerful. His tone was very heavy and classic. Barrelhouse Solly was the same as he always is. Great! His fabulous vocal stylists are reminiscent of an era that is long gone. Vic and Kenny didn't miss a beat.

During the second set, a few guests dropped by to perform a few numbers with the band. Gino Bambino played some fantastic harp playing on a couple of songs. I was asked to sit in on a couple of tunes. Gino Baronelli dropped by to add a third guitar to the mix.

Near the end of the set and during one of Barrelhouse Solly songs, a couple couldn't stand the hypnotic and apparently very sensual music the Phantoms were laying down. The removed the tip jar from the stool on the dance floor. The woman sat down and her male companion proceeded to gyrate and rub up against her in a very non-subtle way.

If you get a chance to see these gentleman, they are well worth it. The Phantoms Of The Barrelhouse provide their audience with excellent music that can be danced to in ways that violate moral turptitude laws.

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