On nights like these you really wished the live music public of Birmingham would embrace some of the exceptional less well known US acts that make the commitment to physically export their talents to venues in this country. Promoters World Unlimited are increasingly seeking out quality Americana acts and established venues such as the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath are prepared to make room in their indie-dominated schedule to host these artists but often the missing link is an enthusiastic crowd to give them a warm welcoming reception. The two artists who showcased their talents on a shared bill this evening were regular UK visitors the Water Tower Buckets Boys, who played a nearby venue around eighteen months ago, and the inaugural trip overseas of Texas based multi-instrumentalist Lincoln Durham. To be fair to both acts, they played a couple of storming sets that far outstripped the modest lukewarm environment that provided the backdrop to their performances.
|Lincoln Durham. Photo not taken at gig|
|Water Tower Bucket Boys|
In sync with the line up on this tour, the boys are retaining their four-piece make up with Jason Oppat on drums and rousing harmonica, joining the established trio of Gordon Keepers – stand up bass, Josh Rabbie – guitar/fiddle and Kenny Feinstein – guitar/mandolin. The latter two share most of the vocal duties with the wit of Kenny being an essential part of the on- stage chemistry. Other notable songs performed on the evening by this tight knit quartet were stomping bluegrass number ‘I’m Working on a Building’, ‘Cocaine’ and the Townes Van Zandt song ‘’White Freightliner’.
Both acts deserved a far better turnout and more enthusiasm than this Birmingham audience gave them and thus it becomes more imperative that artists like these are increasingly actively promoted and the word is spread that quality live music is being delivered to our doorstep.