Another night of happiness and good tunes at The Olympic, a venue that is absolutely killing it this fall.
Opener: The Trees The Trees
I wrote about this local five-piece when I saw them open for Boot Juice in the same room this spring, and will say again that they are a lively and talented group that is worth your time.
Les Bois! Les Bois! Vocalists Cam and Scott play a bit of good cop/bad cop with Cam’s growly delivery contrasting nicely with Scott’s more polished singing. Scott played the mandolin like a guitar and after a song with multiple references to someone getting shot (Annabelle?) joked that “the last one was a love song”.
With some flashy keyboard flourishes courtesy of Zach, and a tight rhythm section, The Trees The Trees got the crowd warmed up right and seemed to be having fun doing it. “Monday’s a Bitch”, Cam’s ballad about a truly bad day, was a fun and lighthearted set closer. Oh, and you gotta love Zach’s sunglasses, shoes, and beaker beer-storage system. Cheers to what I describe as the “Elton John lab tech” look.
Headliner: Smooth Hound Smith
Americana, roots, folk, rock – any of the above describe this duo from Nashville. Two things I know for sure after seeing power couple Zack and Caitlin Smith: they are talented as Hell and know how to put on a good show. Zack’s skill as a songwriter is obvious after listening to their records, including their excellent latest Dog in a Manger, but I was not expecting such guitar prowess. And who doesn’t like some simultaneous harmonica and guitar playing?
There was a shout out to Reverb Nation, as Zack told the story of submitting “The Minutes” to that site, only to have a reviewer comment that they “enjoyed it but it had too much music in the middle of the song”. First of all, that is hilarious; second, this song is busy to be sure, but it is thoroughly badass and one of his finest compositions musically. Hey, here’s a shakey action shot! He’s playing so fast the camera can’t even capture it. Go, Zack, Go!
Caitlin is also a force, with some steady and lightning quick tambourine but more importantly a voice that rocked the house. This was especially true when she stepped around the microphone and sang a verse directly at the crowd of roughly 100 people. She filled the room, and made us forget all about the three guys on the stage.
After their third song, the great “Sweet Tennessee Honey”, Zack joked that he could see that we wanted to dance, but just weren’t quite there – “you’re ready to dance but not ready to commit to it, you just need one more White Claw”. There was banter about truck stop showers after they played that wonderful ode to getting clean on the road. They also refused to cover “Wagon Wheel”, and then hilariously added that in fact no one had asked them to. They have great chemistry and ridiculous talent, and next time they’re in town, look for me- I’ll be there.
One in the Morning
Life Isn’t Fair
Sweet Tennessee Honey
My Heart’s Not Broken Yet
Young and Golden
Three Shades of Lonely
Crazy Over You
Truck Stop Shower
I Got My Eyes on You
She Calls Me Daddy
Stopgap Woman Blues
Steal Your Crown
Waiting for a Spark