Goodfellas Spotlight, Bryan Wood, B-Line, & Atomic Symphonic at the Black Forest
– The Club Circuit
Friday night found TCC (minus photographer Jeanice Marvel, who wasn’t feeling well) in Springfield for our first visit to Goodfellas. You know we’ve done several columns on the Eastman Band, an amazing Springfield band, and it was a pretty wild night! You can catch the review of the show here: http://theclubcircuit.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/the-club-circuit-hits-goodfellas-for-eastman-band-july-8-2011/. We do want to put a spotlight on Goodfella’s, so after our review of Saturday’s nights bands we’ll do just that (see bottom of column).
Dragging photographer Jeanice Marvel outta bed for Saturday night’s club circuit, we’re back in our element to stretch our respective experience envelopes, catching Eugene’s Saturday night eclectic mix of blues/folk rock, featuring all Eugene bands of Bryan Wood, B-Line, and Atomic Symphonic – and what an experience it was!
Bryan Wood – he is an amazing solo acoustic guitar/vocalist, with a nice range and a pure, sweet voice. Offering a folks/blues style, with poignant lyrics, Bryan reminds me of Plain White T’s stylings – Bryan has an incredible voice (amazing lungs!), this was a beautiful set, a poetry of voice and guitar. I was thinking he should be playing in a smoking club down in Soho (he even sports a nifty beret).
Bryan originally hails from Helena, Montana, but has been in Eugene for the past seven months – let’s hope he decides to make this his home! The crowd loved him (even tho I think he brought a few fans with) – I would definitely nominate him as a candidate for a future Eugene RAW show. His upbeat laments show a strong blues root. He also does some nice work with his acoustic guitar – and a definite thank you for singing on pitch with a well-tuned guitar. I especially enjoyed “Playing the Fool, with its nice tempo changes. He has an excellent range in his vocals, and makes good use of varying styles of guitar chords with the vocals progressing throughout the set. We picked up a copy of his demo and previously released album, “The Experience” with his former bandmates – check him out at http://www.myspace.com/bryanwoodmusic/music.
Our ear plugs were definitely IN for this set for sure (as Bowie of Transcending Maya says, “Safety First!”). This was a nice, tight young trio, featuring Joey Thomas on lead guitar, vocals; Tyson on bass, vocals; and Jacob Thomas on drums – for your basic trash punk rock, these guys are your band! Jacob’s drums were excellent, with Tyson’s bass pounding and Joey’s lead guitar riffs hard driving and solid. They are all amazing musicians and vocalists, catching and holding my attention (and that of the audience) for the entire set. Joey made some nice transitions between rhythm and lead guitar riffs, and their cover of the Offspring’s “The Noose” was – well, unique to say the least – Tyson’s bass literally flew! Both Joey and Tyson handled the lead and back vocals equally well. Jacob’s vocals weren’t bad either (I noted someone after the set outside making a point of that song being their fave of the night). It’s hard to go wrong with this particular genre on vocals, but Jacob’s drum solo was much more memorable! These guys work hard – check them out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/B-Line/137324119631850?sk=app_2405167945#!/pages/B-Line/137324119631850?sk=wall and http://www.reverbnation.com/bliner.
Atomic Symphonic (Adam Chimeo – Guitar, Alex N – drums, Andrew Roll – bass, and Austin “ATITS” Thomas – front man/vocals).
First, thank you for intro-ing each song with its title so we could follow the set =) With a full house when they started their set close to midnight, this blues/surf/punk band defies definition (so I won’t try!). They opened with “Saturday Morning Cautions” and the first thing I thought was, “Adam Sandler!” – if anyone wants to argue the point with me, they are welcome to, but I do have to say that Austin does a better job of Adam than Adam does! This was one amazing show, with theatrics just as strong as the musical performance by each individual band member. Even tho photographer Jeanice still didn’t feel well, you can tell she loved this group by the number of pics she snapped. Adam runs the most awesome lead guitar riffs while doing an excellent job sharing lead/back vocals with Austin as well. The beginning of the set could have been a bit tighter, but by the end of the night, these guys were one solid piece of work. You have to catch these guys live (video from a previous performance below) – pictures and words simply do not capture them at all.
Their cover of the Black Keys’ “I Got Mine” was rockin, and as I may have mentioned before, you can tell the bands Jeanice likes by the number of pictures she takes! Besides the basic performance energy and enthusiasm, it was nice to note that these guys also know how to sing on key and have their guitars in turn to each other – a relief to our ears, trust me. They have a solid rhythm & blues foundation to most of their original songs, and Austin’s jokes (as he pulled a battered and tattered, thin paperback copy of Frog’s jokes to read aloud) were hilarious.
They were all absolutely invested in this evening’s set, with Andrew on bass playing it very sedate and serious, then breaking into this shit-eating grin that would keep catching us off-guard, and Alex on drums all business – until he’d see Adam cutting it up and start laughing. Adam really needs twice as much stage – he biffed it and landed on his butt in the middle of the second song of the set – and the two “A”s (Austin and Adam) bounced and danced around the stage without sounding at all sloppy or loose – really impressive. Their original “On The Prowl” has some great tempo changes, and was one of their two fun instrumental pieces. “Records” had Austin and Adam changing it up, as Adam took the acoustic guitar (with Austin holding a mic for him to sing duet), and Adam’s voice is an absolute treasure. Jimmy Cash’s “Cocaine Blues” cover had them switching it out yet again, as Austin took the acoustic guitar and Adam took the bass.
If you could summarize these guys, it would be to say you can’t summarize them – they really do it all, and really well at that. Their cover of the Beatle’s “Rocky Raccoon” was another moment entirely, wit Austin piping away on the kazoo between verses, and their close with Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady” found Adam on the floor (really) at one point, then with guitar behind his back, and then just setting it down on the table and pounding on it.
If you’ve never seen these guys you have to, or just give up calling yourself any kind of music fan! Find them here: http://www.facebook.com/AtomicSymphonic?sk=wall#!/AtomicSymphonic?sk=info.
Spotlight – Goodfellas (117 South 14th Street, Springfield, OR).
Under the new ownership of Kevin and Teresa Powell, this club is deceptively tame at first glance. If you walk in the nondescript front door (off 14th Street), this looks like another normal bar, with several pool tables available, and ample comfy seating with cozy tables just waiting to be claimed. Weaving my way through the tables, I was greeted by friendly staff behind the bar and introduced to new owner, Teresa Powell, who was happy to see me and chatted for several minutes while deftly directing staff to their various duties. Turning to my right, I saw a whole ‘nother side of the club – yet more tables, opening onto an ample wood dance floor and a HUGE stage. With a nice outdoor patio for those of us dragons who still find it a pleasure to smoke coming off the left side of the stage, this venue could easily seat upwards of 200 patrons comfortably. They have breakfast starting at 7am M-Sat (8am Sun) and lunch menus, with dinner menu items available after 3pm, and a full bar selection of course. This is a perfect venue for live music, with a sweet house sound system and lights. You can find more info on their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/goodfellaslounge?sk=wall, or http://www.nightouteugene.com/goodfellas. Give them a shout at (541) 726-9815 if you have questions – you know we’ll be making more stops here in the near future!
Review by Laurel Hayles, The Club Circuit