I sat along the back wall of a pub as the band hit the final note of their first set. Applause. It was a Tuesday night, so it wasn’t exactly a full house but the bar was at least full nearest the stage, leading me to choose kind of an awkward seat. Well, anywhere I sat would be awkward, but the bar would have been least-so.
As the guitarists set down their instruments, he looked up from his drum set & caught my eye. I smiled & quickly put away my notebook & pen.
Light Horse Harry was the name of the band, & they were good. I may be a bit biased, though, if you’re looking for a formal review…and in spite of remedial chorus training, I’m no music expert (just kind of a snob). Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed watching & listening to them play. Apparently, they were missing a few band mates that night, so I’m anxious to see them play as a complete group.
Their sound was unique; I couldn’t quite place them into a distinct genre. You might think that’d be awful, but somehow it works for them. They managed to blend country, alternative, rock, folk, & a whole lot of themselves into each song, with complete fluidity. They played a good deal of covers & at least as many original songs. I’m not gonna lie, that’s what really impressed me. Anyone can play music that already exists, but writing your own? That can’t be easy.
There were three of them. The lead singer – playing either acoustic guitar or an instrument that was smaller than a guitar, larger than a ukulele, but I didn’t think was a fiddle – had this kind of deep, sort of twang-y, raspy yet completely in-tune voice, which harmonized so well with his…back up?…who played electric guitar. Mandolin, that’s what it was. So, they had drums, electric guitar, & either mandolin or acoustic guitar. They were missing their bassist & fiddler (is that the right term?). But they still did this kick ass cover of Sublime’s “Santoria,” one of my favorite songs. I can’t quite place my finger on how they managed it, overall…but I’d like to think it was because they were really just having a damn good time up there. That much was obvious.
I wonder how long they’ve been playing together…
They have more character than any group I’ve seen, even in Austin (and I’d basically spent the following evening at a Troubadour Convention). The main guy singing was tall, kinda scrawny, & had a bandana tied around his shaggy, brownish hair. It was like the hair cut all the boys had in my class in the early 2000’s, where it goes over the ears just enough to flick outward. You know…he reminded me a bit of a southern version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo…he even had a sense of humor to go along with it. He & the other guitarist both wore button-downs, though the other guy wasn’t exactly scrawny…had short hair, & rectangular glasses. His electric guitar was a vibrant shade of blue, kind of contradictory to his otherwise nerdy appearance (I say that very complimentary, for the record, because I can’t think of a more descriptive word). Shane sat in the back corner of the stage, at his drum set. Unlike Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” (or at least, how I picture said Sk8er Boi), he wore regularly-fitted jeans, not skinnies. He wore a plain, cotton shirt & canvas sneakers with…something Hawaiian on them…because no one can escape a little hipster touch to their outfit, right? His dark brown hair was fairly short, but with that military-esque cut that (
I like)is popular right now, where it’s shorter on the sides & considerably longer on top. His hair had a lot of volume, though, not like most other guys with similar cuts…I found my thoughts trailing off, wondering whether or not he used product in his hair…
Because sometimes, I’m such a girl.
“You guys sound great,” I said as he walked over & gave me a hug. He had this contagious smile…you know, the kind that also has a bit of a gleam in the eyes. You’re captivated. And without realizing it, you’re smiling back even more broadly.
God, why was I so awkward?