Our good buddy, Chris Green, recently booked Mike Damron for a house show and asked if I’d be interested in posting some of the video from it. Of course I responded with a solid Clay Davis “Shhhhhiiiiiiiitttttttttt” and accepted. Enjoy:
Ninebullets.net has devoted plenty of coverage to the music of Michael Dean Damron‘s music over the years. Longtime readers will know him both as the front man of incendiary hard rock band I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House, and also for his more contemplative solo albums.
Mike D’s home base is Portland, and so as a Seattle-area resident, I’ve been lucky to have had many opportunities to see him perform. I’ve seen him and his band winning over new audiences when opening for bigger name acts, and I’ve seen him playing more intimate venues full of his established fans. On stage, or talking in person, there is one invariant – whether headlining or opening and whether the crowd is big or small – putting his all into the performance is what he cares about.
His next solo album, “Plea from a Ghost” is due out this month, and he has started off his cross country tour in support of it with a few pacific northwest dates. In Seattle, he played a Saturday night house show (along with fellow Suburban Home Records artist Lizzie Huffman) at a private home that had a great performance space. When we saw his tour schedule, a friend (and ICLASOBITH fan) of mine and I decided to invite him to play a Sunday afternoon set at my buddy’s house out in the ‘burbs the next day.
We were pleased when he accepted without hesitation, and we started inviting people. We ended up with a very diverse set of guests of all ages, including some of our friends who had seen him play before, but also including plenty of people with no idea what to expect. When the show started, MDD joked that he was nervous because he was used to shows with drunker audiences and fights. Amusingly (if you’re familiar with his stage banter), he promised not to curse because there was a baby present, bouncing to the music on his Mom’s knee (I was impressed that he kept his promise until it was baby-nap-time). It turned out that there was no need for nervousness – he won the audience over quickly, and the applause grew louder throughout the set. He played a mixture of new songs from his forthcoming album, older material, and some covers (including a great cover of Two Cow Garage‘s “Swingset Assassin“). When he played the crowd-pleasing “Westboro Baptist Church” towards the end, he told us that he had decided that this was the last time he was ever going to play it. However, by that time the batteries on my camcorder had run out, so I don’t have any legally binding proof of this should he change his mind.
Here’s the good part: At the end of this party, besides leaving with some fine musical memories, I also left with some video of Mike D performing a couple of songs. While watching these should give you a little taste of the cozy garage where we had so much enjoyment this past weekend (and without you having to experience our typical crappy March weather), watching video on the computer is a poor substitute for a live performance. I urge you to get out and see the real thing when he plays your area.
Michael Dean Damron – Graveyard Song
Michael Dean Damron – Keep me in your heart