Friday, June 10, 2011

Footstompin Trio, The Cheeps and Chris Con Carne at the Shakedown - June 10, 2011

Footstompin Trio - Shakedown - source

Footstompin Trio, The Cheeps and Chris Con Carne at the Shakedown

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday night show at the Shakedown. The ghosts of how many clubs rising up from their graves to moan in some sort of wicked benediction for the powerhouse bill of  Footstompin Trio, The Cheeps, Chris Con Carne. I am here mostly for Footstompin Trio because just about every third person that I know in Bellingham told me that I had to go check them out. Supposed to represent everything that Bellingham used to be. 3B and that Xeroxed flyers age represented. Pacific Northwest hard-core hillbilly soul. Had to hear it to believe it.

Walk in late, sadly missing Chris Lamb and Dan Lowinger’s Delta Blues slide steel thunder drum duopolis Chris Con Carne – which I hear puts the Black Keys to shame. What is going on is The Cheeps. Imagine early White Stripes garage punk with a more fuck ass drummer and Leather Pants, lead singer, ripping his throat raw while channeling Roky Erickson in the insane asylum and a Tommy James strung out on a bad speedball run. Just relentless. Whips of sweet noise cracking out over the capacity crowd during favorites “Anything New Please” and “Don’t Cry for Me.”

Next up on the block: local legends Footstompin Trio remaining true to perfect form. Conjuring up the ghosts of Buck Owens, Link Wray and Carl Perkins, the Trio possessed the stage in a manner that made you wonder if the the 3B had ever gone away. Dan Lowinger dominated on vocals and guitar managing to simultaneously evoke Hank Williams and Screamin Jay Hawkins. Stell Newsome spit blood next to him and would have made Dick Dale proud. This was balls-out hillbilly rockabilly that had everyone feeling like someone had spiked the Ranier with White Lightning LSD. Their cover of Jerry Reed's Mr. Wiz lit the place on fire and kept most wondering when Jeff Gray's slap bass was going to spontaneously combust. While Tom Forster’s back woods rhythm took the crowd into some weird voodoo rockabilly trance. At the end, the rousing encore of Wray's Run Chicken Run left no doubt as to who had ripped the bones out of the commodified corpse of modern day Rockabilly and made the skeleton dance.

Thank all the devils down in the belly of Bellingham for the Shakedown and their continuing efforts to reanimate the best of what was and electrify the best of what is. Although ever hopeful bone in your body shivers against it, this sort of show is what makes a great music town. You know every musician in the crowd – and there were more than a few - felt the resonance of that long snake moaning against the brick walls of that old building and thought: this is it is all about, this is worth living for, this is some good fucking music.

Originally written for What's Up! 

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