Every once in a while, a band comes along that you’ve heard their name before, hear other people talk about them and sing their praises and you've made promises to yourself that you will go hear them play. Then they play a venue close to you, but dangit, you’ve already got plans that night. And then there are the other nights they play close by, but your schedule is always busy and you're forever missing them. They stay on your conscience for a while, always there like a favorite memory.
Finally when you least expect it, someone you know suddenly grabs you and hauls you off to hear them play cuz “they’re playing just down the street and you gotta hear them”. And off you go! (In this case my lovely wife grabbed me and herded me out the door mentioning something along the lines that I've worked hard enough this week and deserve to hear some good music now. My wife is very smart.)
Later after witnessing their performance, you become a devout disciple of their music and you can actually feel the light shining down from above on you as you transcend to the next level of awareness. You hear massive applause and catcalls (ok, it’s all in your head, but that’s okay) signaling that you “finally got it”! Their music is like a cool breeze on a hot day, a cold beer, your favorite incense, and that much coveted dessert all rolled into one big chalupa. Yep, we’re talkin’ about the band “Luke Wade and No Civilians” https://www.facebook.com/#!/lukewadeandnocivilians and http://www.lukewadeandnocivilians.com/ .
Folks, these guys cook! From the drummer keeping things honest and loose to the cool bass line to the horn section composed of a brilliant trumpet player and equally sensuous and cool sax player to the man himself Luke Wade. All five of these cats serve up music the way it was meant to be played: hot, honest, and righteous. Brother, if these guys played on Sunday mornings for church, a whole bunch of sinners would confess their deepest faults and be saved en mass. The pews would be full of believers. (Did I hear someone say “Amen!”?)
In these days of massive drum kits and equally massive egos, it is quite nice to see a drummer utilizing the very basics of the trade: bass, snare, floor tom, high-hat and cymbal. That's it. And this drummer relied on good old-fashioned technique and skill to keep the band rocking while proving beyond question there is brilliance in simplicity. Being a fellow drummer, it was a sheer joy to watch this man work.
Let's face it, horn sections bring an added demension to most any kind of music. Luke Wade and No Civilians has successfully integrated a trumpet, sax, and flute into their wide catalog of covers and originals. This band's trumpeter brought an added kick when needed plus soloed throughout the night on occasion, bringing roaring cheers.
Equally impressive was one of their brethren, Clay Shelburn, who not only warmed up the crowd gathered one recent Thursday night by providing his own brand of alternative blusey rock, but also sat in with Mr. Wade's band occasionally that night.
(I say Mister Wade because his name, Luke Wade, sorta reminds one of the wild west sheriff that keeps law and order while maintaining an ultra-hip, cool status amongst the townsfolk.)
Shelburn's vocal style, range, and guitar mastery as a solo artist is surprisingly refreshing and makes it obvious he knows a thing or two about Texas music and leaves the crowd craving more. In other words, he ain't boring.
One can't write about the band, or live music for that matter, without discussing the sound guy. Or Audio Tech as its known in technical parlance. The Capital Bar's (3017 Morton St Fort Worth, TX 76107) resident sound guy this evening provided a good balanced audio exerpience with few interruptions. Sure there were some minor technical tweeks that needed to be done here and there, but that comes with live sound. We've all heard bad audio at live performances, right? Well this wasn't one of them. Far from it. This guy knew what he was doing.
One last thing to mention. It's great to hear live music and even greater to hear live music done well. The icing on the cake or the whipped cream and cherry on top, so to speak, is when good friends or family can join you. This particular evening was one of those times. Members of our family got to join us and because of Luke Wade's No Civilians and Clay Shelburn's solo act a very good time was had by all.
Support Live Music. You'll be glad you did.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org