Recap: Last night at Sherlock’s, Fast Eddie’s and The Mad Marlin.
If anyone EVER tries to tell you that there isn’t any good music in San Antonio, just use your Southern grace to smile politely and nod. Then go about your day with the knowledge that people just say things for the heck of it. Last night, I had the GREAT pleasure to be bathed in the soundwaves of excellence in three packed venues. There are plenty of people who know what the deal is in Say Town and they were out with their game faces on. Gotta love that SA crowd! Friendlies everywhere with a smile and a sweet “It’s OK” if you happen to bump into an audience neighbor who is as caught up in the music as you are.
First Stop: Sherlock’s and Play It 4Ward
It’s nice to be able to walk into your old stomping grounds and see the people who are still keeping it moving forward. Gilley (manager extroadinaire) looks like the club has been taking good care of him as he has adopted a style that I can only describe as VERY distinguished. Manny is still holding down the bar and seems more like a friendly host as he wooshes by with a “HEYYY! HOW ARE YOU?!” in his tireless quest to complete one of the many many tasks it takes to keep that machine called Sherlock’s moving forward. It’s people like that that make a successful bar, I always say. Then the beautiful Misha sees me in what I thought was a great hiding place and gives me one of those bone-crushers of a hug that makes you need to come up for air. She’s such an exquisite soul. John H. has that King Midas Touch as he has only chosen the best folks to join him in that magical space called “the stage”. That man’s been churning out good music since 1993 and hasn’t once dropped that ball. Austin V. let his hair down, literally and figuratively. He knows his way around a foundation like few others. Precise and professional but laid-back enough to tap out the groove on one hand while waving a hello from the other. Newcomer to the band but obviously not the music, Daniel Elliot, was belting out tunes from behind the keys like a BOSS! Way to take the reins and just GO, Mr. Elliot! Then Misha, she’s just goodness wrapped up into human form. I had to smile as I watched the floor fill up with happy dancers by the fourth tune. I stayed around for the first half of the first set while murmuring an unheard goodbye to the place that still has yet to lose its spark.
Onward: Fast Eddie’s and DJ Jason B.
Next stop was a packed pool hall off of Bitter’s Rd. Fast Eddie’s was hosting a pool tourney and the mix-maser of the hour was Jason Brookes, father of local elementary school musical prodigy, Harmony B., San Antonio musician (Driven Zero, Shut Up Jason, Jokester, Make My Day All-Star), owner of 210-Car-Open locksmithing services and accomplished DJ. I had the rare opportunity to watch him mix some tunes earlier last week and wanted to lend my support and drink in some more of that musical magic. He had those pool sharks bobbing their heads and wiggling with their cues as he mixed a variety of brand new heavy, hip/hop, hard rock, and new country. You never know who you are going to see when you’re out. SA may be the seventh largest city in the nation but it ain’t about to lose that small town feel. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Mike McLean and his lovely wife, Dahlia Martinez McLean walk in. She had a massive fever but still pulled herself into the club to give the DJ his props. I gave her a hug and one of those mommy head-feels. Mr. McLean is a degreed musician with that “fancy book lernin'” style. Just another notch in the “SA has chops” file. Thanks for the Tuaca! I’ll call to see if you need help with that load out.
Last Stop on that musical freight train: The Mad Marlin and Charlie Bravo
This was my first time at The Mad Marlin. It has one of those split-scene set-ups: DJ in the back of the house and live music in the middle. The front of the house has a detached patio. VERY Broadway chic and hats off to the architect who masterminded that setup because it works. Ahhhh…Charlie Bravo. Good. Ness. I picked up some new friends and hugged some familiar souls. Their secret weapon (Julie Martinez) was stunning, as usual. Again, that San Antonio small town thing happened again. Who else was in that audience acting like a civilian but the incredible front-man for Chillfactor, Brandon Safstrom. Duke Martinez switched out the front to let Mr. Safstrom caress the mike and oh my gosh! I have never heard a more velvety Maynard in my life! I need to get out to Chillfactor show PRONTO! They even pulled me onstage for a little RAGE. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Made a few new fans after that one but I told them EMPHATICALLY…”It wasn’t me! It was the band!” The band. They NEVER disappoint! EVER! Carl Leon pulled a VAN HALEN SOLO ON FIVE STRINGS! Yup. I saw it. I SAW IT! He popped that B string (I think. I was too busy watching him transpose that solo like nothing had happened) and kept going. DECENT! Had a great convo with Tim Dugan. He’s another one…standing back there like anyone can do what he does but creating a rock solid foundation. Stefan Cadra was on FIRE! That crowd had him moving in another dimension. He tore up “Killing In The Name Of” and just let me float along groove without having to pull out any major stops. I went home on that same cloud 9. I’m still sitting here, shaking my head in disbelief. Then The Duke…powerful front with the performance chops to boot. A heady combination. Then, this man turns a one of those announcement PAs into an INSTRUMENT! This is the reason why I warn people before going to the shows. Expect to leave a changed individual. They weave a tapestry of something too priceless for definition.
Click here to visit Play It 4Ward online.
Click here to visit Charlie Bravo online.
Click here to visit Chillfactor online.
Click here to visit Sherlock’s online.
Click here to visit Fast Eddie’s online.
Click here to visit The Mad Marlin online.
Blue skies and cooler temps mean it’s time to get some of that Vitamin D! The Hemisphere Coalition is sponsoring A Picnic In The Park. Tickets are free with the Hemisphere Coalition membership (you can sign up for membership when you get there) or $10 per person. Click here for ticket info.