Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stompin' the Hat

Hillstomp brought their hard-driving blues to the Top Hat for the first time on Friday April 15, 2011. To say the crowd was appreciative would be an understatement; ecstatic and blown-away would be closer to the truth. Is there a duo anywhere who plays faster and louder? This is rompin' and stompin' stuff, creating an audience/performer vortex, which threatens to lift the roof off. 

The buckets are plain enough in this image, but you can't see the brake drum and some of the other toys tucked away in this far-from-standard drum kit.

Henry Christian

                                                      John Johnson

Hillstomp gave everything they had for a lengthy set, with much howling, growling and dripping sweat. I think their performance and the crowd reaction gave them some satisfaction. 

The Dodgy Mountain Men were feeling their onions on this night, and deserve much credit for warming the crowd up for the headliners. One unique aspect of this outfit is percussion provided by tablas.  

As usual, there are more images of this night on the flickr archive. Each of these bands has a set, as does Black Mountain Moan, the opening band. All three bands have previous coverage on this blog, and at least one set from an earlier performance on flickr. Hillstomp now has five sets on flickr, counting two performances at the Palace and two at the Badlander. 

In a previous post about Black Mountain Moan, I labeled this young man Zak, but, according to his emails, he uses the more traditional Zach. I apologize, Zach. 

I can't end this post without mentioning the "free and family friendly" 6 to 8 time slot every Thursday and Friday at the Top Hat. On this Friday, the Jen Slayden Family Band performed, and as usual kids running, dancing and playing contributed to a very different bar experience from the usual. The Family Band included Jen's son, daughter and niece. They also have a set on flickr. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who Opened for Johhny Winter?


With the old master up front

The grandness of the Wilma all around

Chuck Lester

All their fans know these guys playing the horns, but who's that behind them?

Hey look. There's a new bass player,           Lee

a new drummer,                                  Reggie

a new guitar player,                                 Pat

and the same rocking rhythm and blues that makes folks want to dance.

Your next opportunity to hear that sound and dance your ass off will be at the Union Club on Saturday, April 30. Zeppo usually plays that venue monthly, and that is their next scheduled performance there.

Many more images of this grand night at the Wilma are on the flickr archive.


Ello, pronounced as the British say hello, is the Top Hat Artist of the Month for April. As such, they play 6-8 pm every Thursday this month. We are halfway through April and there are two more opportunities to take the whole family to hear this band in a bar, if you can believe that, as this is an all ages, family friendly event. I can witness to the fact that kids transform and elevate the energy in a bar.  Drop into the Top Hat on Thursday or Friday between 6 and 8 to see for yourself.

Going into the weekend, the Friday events are well attended, but more folks should take advantage of the Thursday offerings.  These guys have a solid sound and deserve a larger audience. In addition to playing the Hat on Thursdays, April 21 and 28, they will be on the Trail 103.3, live with Tracy Lopez on Thursday the 21st, at 9am.

Jason on bass, Greg doing vocals, Justin on drums, Chris on guitar

Here are the drink specials for the month, in case you are interested.