Charlie Parr, RL Cole, Wonky Tonk and Sam Gillis recently performed at Swing Station in LaPorte, CO. Here is how they kept everyone grooving into the early hours of the morning.
BY: REBECCA LAPOLE
Sam Gillis opened the night on a stool, with his guitar, singing songs that were “blues-y as hell,” according to RL Cole, who followed him up with his own brand of possessed, gritty, soul with a guitar that sang thick sustained tones. Whether on the acoustic or electric, slide or steel, Cole slapped out a beat as well as the strumming to accompany his songs of women, drinking and the sea. He even sang a song called “The Night Witches”— Russian women who started WWII planes’ propellers by hand to keep a silent cover as bombs were dropped on enemy land.
His new song “Steel Man”, was promised to be on an album soon. Wearing a white tee and jeans with cowboy boots, Cole said, “I think I was put on this earth to creep people out,” and consistently thanked the crowd for allowing him to “get weird” with us.
Funny man Kyle Pogue was the host for the evening, while Wonky Tonk, the country stylings of Jasmine Poole in a red maxi dress that said “Problems 99” with boots and hat to match, kept the crowd lively prior to the headliner—Charlie Parr.
His classic style, one-man rhythm and blues, playing a
couple guitars and keeping the beat with a basmati rice bag under his bass pedal, creates the sounds of original bluegrass songs that the crowd knew by heart. With his untied Converse, laid-back jeans and flannel shirt, the man behind the specs shared his heart and Captain Fuzzy Bear – the painting on the back of his steel guitar.
His voice held a wavering sincerity and when someone in the room requested “Stomp Jumper” he quickly obliged. Parr’s gentle soul and uplifting music also touched some heartstrings when he sang about “Ol’ Blue,” the best dog there ever was. Parr played an encore or two and then gave out hugs after the show, keeping everyone happy until the wee hours of the morning.