Bocephus King, Slack Pine and the Bison Brothers at the Byng Roadhouse, Cranbrook, Monday January 28, 2013, 8pm.
My wife accuses me of losing my objectivity. After every recent show it seems I have nothing but good to say about the performance. Well, I guess it’s because live music away from the concert platform is always good. It doesn’t matter how many train wrecks, if any, may occur during the performance the intimacy, vibe and the audience interaction are what makes for great evenings. So, I don’t think I losing my objectivity. How can I lose objectivity when I am having so much fun? Case in point; The recent show at the Byng opened with the new local group Pine Slacks featuring Clayton Parsons (guitar and vocals), Connor Foote (guitar and vocals) and Stu Driedger (stand up bass). The sound system was a little harsh, the lighting less than satisfactory and their bass player was dealing with some serious medical pain. Despite the difficulties they pulled it together and delivered a set that included originals such as Echoes, Know My Name, Time, Coyote, How I Met Your Mom, Stay, Grey Cell Doors, Hold On, Waiting to be Set Free, Ducks and a great thumping version of Hangman. Kudos to Stu for hanging in there despite the pain. Tim Ross (vocals, guitar), Ferdy Belland (vocals and Bass) and Colin Righton (drums) are no strangers on the local scene. When Ferdy recently arrived back in town Tim Ross re-activate their musical partnership in The Bison Brothers. This is a slick, in the best sense, tight rock solid unit. With Tim’s song writing skills, cowboy/rock star/western persona, Ferdy’s hyperactive bass and backup vocals and Colin Righton’s harnessed heavy metal sensibilities any performance is guaranteed to please. On Monday night at the Byng it was no different. Apart from a few cover tunes Tim’s original material was front and center. Songs include My Sister’s Friends, Fish God, My Baby Won’t Ride in My Car No More, Day After Day, Ghost Town, How Come I Never Have any Money, the rocking (“everyone needs a car song”) Rocket 88 and, my personal favorite The Lucky Star. “Bocephus King at the Byng” – doesn’t that have a nice ring to it. Despite having a website Bocephus is a bit of an enigma. The biography on the web site is a masterpiece of non-information. Who is Bocephus King? Where does he come from? Apart from working out of Vancouver anything else is pure guess work. No matter his music and his five piece band speaks for its self. The band, featuring Bocephus King on guitar and vocals, Wynston Minckler on short scale bass, Paul Townsend on drums, Charlie Hase on pedal steel and Skye Wallace on vocals, percussion and Melodica delivered over two hours of non-stop grove based music. There were a few covers in there (Don’t Think Twice, Run Like a Fugative ) but it was mostly roots based, and as near as I could tell, original music with a distinct Caribbean feel.This was a great show with good flow, a good grove, very musical (?? a rock band that’s musical) and lots of space for each musician to shine. Charlie Hase’s pedal steel added that extra melodic voice that is often missing in most bands; Skye Wallace’s vocals, percussion and especially her Melodica playing on the old Dean Martin pop classic Sway was a real surprise and a joy to hear. It was a Monday night, traditionally a dead night in the week but the word must have got out because there was good crowd who are obviously enjoying the Byng’s Roadhouse’s return to the live music scene. Here are some more images from the evening.
So, just remember THE BYNG ROADHOUSE has live music every Friday and Saturday evening with a jam session every Saturday afternoon.