Last Saturday’s (August 6) show at the Tipsy Teapot was a special treat as Lonnie Walker, David Dondero, and Old Bricks took the stage. Summertime in Greenville can be hit or miss for an event like this, but a good crowd was present from the beginning and slowly grew through the night.
David Dondero started the night, which was a bit of surprise to many of the fans in attendance and members of Old Bricks, who professed “growing up on David Dondero.” The crowd yelled out requests and cheered loudly from the back of the lounge area through the entire set.
Dondero’s songs are full of lonely guy stories. One gets the feeling these are authentic, as he strings together a litany of tales full of heartbreak and despair. Empathy is another trait evident in Dondero’s work. Whether he’s describing the plight of the indigent or enamored with the enlightened, he comes across as an astute observer of life.
These traits were in sharp contrast with Dondero’s stage presence Saturday night. He appeared uneasy, and was subtly self-effacing. At times, he seemed surprised by the crowd’s overwhelming applause and adulation. He was workman like in his performance though, and played with heart and soul for close to an hour. Much to the delight of the crowd, he ended his set with Mighty Mississip!, Rockfort Chapel, and (fittingly) Carolina Moon. At the end of it all, he left the crowd wanting more.
Check out: Maybe Separation Makes Us Stronger [mp3]
Old Bricks followed Dondero, and put on a distinctly different show. It was fantastic, and a bit overwhelming. Old Bricks is led by Stuart Edwards and Andy Holmes, and were joined by their Grip Tapes mates, Mike Dillon and Christoper Hutcherson-Riddle. The quartet opened with Dillon, Riddle, and Edwards banging away on Tom drums with Holmes balancing the guitar and kicking the bass drum. All of this percussion contributed to a dark, tribal feel. All four supplied vocals with Edwards leading the charge. At one point, he knelt on the floor and just howled into the microphone. It was complete emotion. They ripped open a vein and continued on that path through the night. The arrangements changed with Edwards joining and then leading the band on guitar. Their set was thoroughly impressive, and surely came away with a few new fans.
Another boon for Greenville indie rock fans; Old Bricks is based in the Raleigh area! Greenvilleans can easily see Old Bricks again, and hopefully back in Greenville. Be ready for their latest release, City Lights, out soon on Grip Tapes.
Stream/Purchase: Farmers [Bandcamp]
Lonnie Walker are old favorites in Greenville, and drew a pretty good late crowd. While they’ve come around several times, it’s amazing how fresh their music seems. They played a tight set, while a great group of folks danced and sang to the wee hours of the night.
On more than one occasion, I’ve compared Lonnie Walker to The Replacements (also the Del Fuegos). Lonnie Walker is just a great band to see in a small venue. They have a gritty feel to their music. They aren’t really punk, more like roots rockers with an edge. I took some video that night, but the crappy microphone on my camera didn’t do the band justice. Here’s a live version of their track, Summertime, from a previous performance:
Want another example? Check out a great Daytrotter set they recorded last December. See Lonnie Walker live!