The rains made the night less than hospitable but those of us that made it out were treated to some wonderful music. We arrived just as Knoxville’s Matt Woods was wrapping up his set, so I immediately hit the bar for some social lubrication. Two Red Seal Ales into the night The Most Beautiful Losers took the stage. I’ve had their CD in my computer room for a few months now, but I’ve not managed to give it a listen. Live, they’re loud, rough and everything rock n’ roll is supposed to be. Watching them play made me want, nay, need whiskey and the moment their set was complete, I made the rain hindered-sprint over to Fuma Bella’s to quell the monster with a few shots before Will Quinlan took the stage. Seems great minds think alike as the bulk of Truckstop Coffee, Matt Woods and no shortage of show attendees were doing the same thing.
One thing is for sure — when Will Quinlan is on, there are few better and this past night, Will was as on as I’ve seen him in quite some time. Joining Will on stage was his regular drummer Jesse Martin, Have Gun Will Travel guitarist Scott Anderson and Truckstop Coffee bassist, James (Bob) Hershberger. At some point during Will’s set, I tweeted (or Facebooked) a picture of Will with the text, “Will Quinlan, if you don’t know, ask me tomorrow.” I think it was best summed up by Larry (Truckstop’s drummer) when Will started playing the opening of “Beatitudes.” I leaned over to Larry, telling him how much I loved the song and he said, “I know! I can’t believe I know the guy who wrote it.” Will Quinlan is a rare treat and we’re lucky to have him, so seriously, if you don’t know … ask me about him or go check out his Myspace.
This could have easily been called the Truckstop Coffee CD release party, Take 2. See, the band came to town a few months back for their official CD release show but the road had chewed them up pretty good by the time they got to Tampa (read here) and the show ended up being a Pete Stein solo set. This time around, all the band members were present and the rock was brought. Unfortunately much of the crowd had filtered out or were hanging inside for Truckstop’s set but those that continued to brave the lingering humidity were greeted to a highly energetic show comprised mostly of songs from TC’s new album, For Dear Life.
Highlights (for me) were my two favorite songs from the new album, “Laredo Skies” and “Ghost or an Angel” as well as a full band version of “Fly Far Blackbird,” the standout track from Pete’s solo album. By the end of the night everyone, including the band, was lubed enough to make the crowd-to-band banter alone worth the price of admission.
In all, it was another night that served as a huge reminder that Florida is currently flush with amazing musical talent we should be supporting in full, and you can all start with the January 30 all-Florida bill featuring The Takers, Greenland is Melting and Nessie at New World Brewery. Come be a part of it.
For more pictures from this show or others, head over to James Zambon’s site.