Hazzard County – The Basement, 16/12/10

Given the time span between attending the gig and actually getting around to blogging about it, together with my sometimes over-reliance on memory (rather than taking notes), this will be a somewhat sparser entry than usual.

I had thought that I had seen my last gig of 2010 but then discovered that two of my favourite local acts, along with one I hadn’t seen before, were performing at the Basement tonight (or, rather, a month ago) so, with the other guys unavailable, I set out for one last solo attendance before the end of the year.

Sadly, shortly before the start of the evening, GT Turbo let the other acts know that he was no longer going to make it. Shame as regular readers will know that I’m a big fan.

I had never seem Sam Forrest before tonight but I had heard good things about his work with Nine Black Alps and knew that he was producer on my favourite album of 2010 (Boss Caine’s The Ship That Sailed – if you haven’t bought it already, why not???) Unusually for a man and guitar act Sam plays electric guitar but there was something different about how he was playing it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The best way I could describe it would be that he played it as if it were acoustic. It was a low-key performance with little audience interaction and if I heard any song titles, I have since forgotten them. Somehow, Sam’s voice didn’t quite fit his playing, which detracted a little from the performance for me. That’s not to say it was a bad performance, though, just that it wasn’t what I was used to. It was a short set, but it was good enough to tempt me to buy a copy of Sam’s latest album, No Imagination, which I have had a chance to listen to and, as I mentioned in my CD roundup, ended up bubbling just outside my top five of the year.

Hazzard County don’t get together as often as they used to (which, to be fair, was weekly for quite a long time) but are always worth watching. Tonight, Dave, Simon, Chris and the one whose name I can never remember were joined by Sam Forrest, who played bass while the rest of them rotated around the remaining instruments and vocals, playing the usual mix of country rock songs. As usual the set included a number of songs I recognised but couldn’t remember who originally performed them. Occasionally, the band helped out by introducing songs by the likes of Texas Tornados, J.J. Cale and Ryan Adams. They also performed Chris’s own Luckiest Man Alive and favourites of mine such as Rock Me Mama, Crickle Creek and The Weight. (The last two originally by The Band.) As usual, it was a foot-stomping, sing-along performance of great songs and excellent musicianship and another entertaining evening. Sadly, chatting with Simon after the gig, it seems that this this could be the last reunion for quite some time as all the current members are busy with other projects.

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About Ian

Regular gig-goer in York, both to see local and touring bands. Huge music fan, with more CDs than my wife thinks any one person should own. I also collect American comics, read a lot of SF and fantasy and am a season-ticket holder at Leeds United.
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