We played one of our coolest shows yet on Sunday night. Earlier in the year, I made the acquaintance of one John Davis. You might remember him as one half of the indie duo Folk Implosion (his partner in that project being Lou Barlow of Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr. fame). The suggestion was made that he come to Memphis sometime, to play a show. Imagine my surprise when he booked a tour and added Memphis to the itinerary. It was on.
We faced a unique predicament – a live band without longtime collaborators Jason Pulley (keys) and Matthew Trisler (guitar). What to do? We asked our friend Jacques Granger from The Family Ghost if he’d like to join the band to play what he accurately coined the “Gillian Gilbert role” in the band.
Somewhere along the way I proposed that John join us for a Folk Implosion cover. He graciously said yes. Now it was real for me.
Sadly, the night of the show Jacques found himself unable to play, so we were down to a trio. Could we pull that off? We’ve handled hairier.
At any rate, the show started with J.D. Reager and the Cold-Blooded 3 (minus Matthew Trisler) who brought the rock per the usual and included a rendition of the Monkees tune “Sunny Girlfriend”:
(l to r: Bubba, J.D., and Eric “Wolf” Wilson)
We were then joined by one of TWO touring bands: Evil English, whose drummer is in John’s backup band The Cicadas. They were fantastically moody and minimalistic. I am looking forward to the album they have in the works!
Evil English (l to r: Rob Chamberlain, Lindsey Elcessor)
Finally, it was time for John to play. His band, a three-piece themselves, created a surprisingly heady and dense wall of music – and John is a great and unconventional guitarist.
John Davis & the Cicadas (l to r: Rob Chamberlain, Justin Blatt, John Davis)
And then, it was time. Josh, Eric and I. We were joined by Jason for “(If I Held You) Close To Me” (unspoken rule: if Jason is around he must sing his part!) and John did indeed join us to perform “Pole Position”. Amazing. He seemed really happy when I hit Lou’s harmony in the last chorus.
Photo by Jason Pulley (l to r: Eric “Wolf” Wilson, John Davis, Josh Stevens, and yours truly)
Oh, what a night.
SETLIST: I Give Up Everyday, But I Never Manage To Walk Away / Ampersands / If This Is Forward / (If I Held You) Close To Me / First Episode / Pole Position (with John Davis)