Rosebud Bar & Grill
Behind the Rosebud Diner Car
"Rare soul, 6Ts, Funk and Northern"
381 Summer St., Davis Square
Somerville, MA, 02144-3203
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Assuming you can admit your gut instinct was totally wrong, it can be disarmingly enlightening to see how reality gives you and your assumptions a wedgie. You’ve been told by a reliable source that this group is talented, fun to listen to, and dance-friendly. You listen to a couple of youtube clips and are not convinced they’re your cup of tea. You go to the venue anyway, girded with low expectations. A group with the name of The Coachmen? Not inspiring. Retro. Acoustic folk? Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore?Two songs into the set, you feel your jaw drop in surprise. Good grief, these guys are setting this place on fire.
The above scenario would describe yours egg-on-face truly. I am talking about The Coachmen, a most unassuming name for three guys who can deliver 12-gauge honky-tonk, country swing, rockabilly, rock & roll, and a touch of bluegrass. The trio appeared at The Rosebud Bar and Grill, another unexpected surprise in the equation. The decision to leave my pad, pen, and camera at home, since I was likely to stay for one set then light out for home, deserved a whack on the knuckles from a wise Zen master.
These guys have talent as opposed to flash. They may have started as teenagers practicing in somebody’s basement but they’re studio quality players. Lead electric guitar Jerry Miller has a muscular Les Paul sound with impossibly nimble picking fingers. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Allen Sheinfeld has a gorgeous voice that can slide from a Johnny Cash baritone to a rich, deep bass that sounds like it’s coming from the back of a cave. ”John Sciascia’s one of the best upright bass players I’ve ever heard,” says one aficionado of Boston’s rich musical heritage.
Their arrangements are spare and crisp. They don’t need to showboat their talent with extended solos. They pack their musicality into each three or four minute number, pause, and go on to the next. Sheinfeld’s stage patter is unselfconsciously droll.
In between songs, I learned who
these guys were from a group of enthusiasts who’ve heard them before
and were smart enough to show up with their dancing shoes. About forty
other appreciative listeners filled the Rosebud’s well laid out
interior. The Coachmen have a following.
Google “the Coachmen” and you can find several youtube video clips of their songs, some of which The Coachmen played tonight (they have no website). Google ‘unprepared journalist’ and you might find pt at large, who resolves to eliminate acts of laxity in 2010. The Coachmen play again at the Rosebud Bar and Grill on January 10, 2010.