Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kevin McGorey (Roman Numerals), David Martin, Zach Curd, Kevin Mahler at Magdelena's Tea House in Lansing 3/16/07

The singer-songwriter is probably the easiest target for criticism within any local music scene. There’s just something about the acoustic guitars and rampant introspection that rubs people the wrong way, and that wrong-way-rubbing ends up being aired in all sorts of public forums.

But you know what? You can’t have a great bands without great singer-songwriters, and that’s what was on display at Magdalena’s Tea House last Friday — along with one of the most singular figures I’ve ever seen step to a coffee-house mic.

Kevin McGorey of The Word Play (performing under the stage name Roman Numerals ), David Martin of That’s Him! That’s the Guy!, Zach Curd of The Pop Project and Kevin Mahler of Coach Mahler and the Athletes put their solo work on display along with some choice cuts from their respective collective entities, providing a peek at the songs’ foundations.

Magdelena's 3/16/07

As Roman Numerals, Kevin McGorey was fueled by a quiet intensity that he brings in part to The Word Play (intensity yes, quiet no). And who’d’ve thought that his cover of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around” wouldn’t be the only JT tribute of the weekend?

Magdelena's 3/16/07

Magdelena's 3/16/07

During one of the night’s many “VH1 Storytellers” moments, David Martin talked about how the song he was about to play was written about the loud heater in the old, creaky house he lives in. That’s a perfect story for him to tell, because I think an old, creaky house is an appropriate analogy for the set he played that night.

You may know Zach Curd as a piano man, but he’s apparently putting in a lot of time on the guitar recently — a baritone guitar, nonetheless. There was no bari to be had on Friday, but a red SG in alternate tuning provided the deeper chug beneath his songs.

Magdelena's 3/16/07

Said songs were great as usual and as strange as it was to see Zach not behind his keys, there were glimpses of the axe-man swagger he surely had to employ in his stint as second guitarist for Thunderbirds Are Now!

Magdelena's 3/16/07

Magdelena's 3/16/07

Kevin “Coach” Mahler was without his band of athletes, though he did have a handful of in-laws in attendance. His was a bizarre mix of folk, country and comedy told through rambling verse and the occasional blast on his holstered harp. I’m at a loss to fully encapsulate his contribution to the show, just as I’d be at a loss to describe Kevin off-stage. Nonetheless, a highly individual performance from a highly individual performer.
Magdelena's 3/16/07


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is right I am an individual! Love the review, dogg. And I loved playing the show, too. If you want to buy a CD, contact me at myspace.com/coachmahler

6:16 PM  
Anonymous ethan said...

i'm a fan of firebeard jackson. certifiable, i had the cassette.

9:10 PM  

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