Summer is when things are supposed to slow down. I get time off for vacation, work slows down and there is more time to relax. You’d think that this would be an ideal opportunity to write some blog posts. Yet for whatever reason, summer is when I write the least. Who knows why, but now that ends.
There is much to tell. Summer may not have allowed me to write but it did give me time for many adventures including concerts, breweries and a weeklong distillery tour of Kentucky. I’ve also had the chance to reflect more on questions of addiction. I even got to try Butterbeer which even though it’s non-alcoholic still has to count for something. So, it’s long past time I got back to sharing some of this with you.
Let’s start with my new favorite band, Ruby the Hatchet. I first heard them on WXPN ( U-Penn’s radio station) back in June. One listening to their track, “Heavy Blanket” was all it took. I was absolutely hooked by the retro, Sabbath-esque vibe. As you may recall I just love that heavy, early 70’s sound. After legally downloading and paying for everything I could find (paying for music, especially from smaller acts, is an absolute matter of principal) I was thrilled to find they would be playing a local gig in July. You can check out a live video from that gig here.
The venue, Underground Arts, had a dingy basement vibe but with oddly upscale furniture and clean bathrooms. After the opening act (Slow Season) I glanced back towards the merch area and noticed a young woman who I was pretty sure was RTH’s vocalist, Jillian.
The results were all I could have hoped for. She was incredibly friendly and we enjoyed extended conversation musical tastes, how thy settled on their sound, their creative process for writing and lots of other stuff. She also introduced me to their guitar player, John and other friends of the band. Unlike some of my previous rock star encounters, this was most satisfying.
The next two bands, Mondo Drag and Electric Citizen both put on great shows full of that that same retro vibe. Of course by then it was already 11 but even though my old ass was tied, there was no way I was going home.
Then came the payoff when RTH took the stage. Their set was a very cool mix of psychedelic, prog and stoner metal. Even their look including analog keyboards, and SG and Rickenbacker bass just made we feel like I had timed warped back to 1972 (Ok- I was only 3 then but you get my point). I loved the show and will definitely see them again. Since they are from Philly hopefully this will be sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’ll just keep cranking up “Eliminator.”
Until next week, rock on.