Feels Good, Just Like It Should

DSC05444I was at The Troubadour on Saturday, April 23, 2016 for a concert including three bands: We the Folk, T Sisters, and Dustbowl Revival. The first two bands were new to me. We the Folk formed at the UCLA campus and has been playing some of the small popular venues in L.A. for the past couple of years. Fronted by David Villafaña on vocals and guitar, the band on Saturday was comprised of five additional musicians playing fiddle, accordion, bass, drum kit, and percussion. The T Sisters is comprised of three harmonizing sisters — Erika, Chloe, and Rachel Tietjen — with the support of a couple musicians, Steve Height on bass and mandolin player/guitarist, Andy Allen-Fahlander. They’ve been working on music full-time since 2014, opening for some well-known names on the folk, country, and Americana circuit. Dustbowl Revival, the dynamic octet that brings their fantastic melting pot of music genres and lively spirits to every venue they play, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing three times in the past year.  The members of the band are Z. Lupetin on vocals and guitar; Liz Beebe on vocals, washboard, and sometimes ukulele; Daniel Mark, mandolin; Connor Vance, fiddle; Matt Rubin, trumpet; Ulf Bjorlin, trombone; James Klopfleisch, bass; and Josh Heffernan on drums.

 

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We the Folk Performing at The Troubadour

We the Folk was holding their album release concert for their new work WTF.  They took the crowd on a wild ride, mixing up their sometimes Spanish, sometimes English, Latin-Klezmer-Folk hybrid of music in a stunning swirl of rhythm and at times, nearly frenetic playing. Their specialty seemed to be steadily increasing the tempo to a blistering pace. Much credit to their fiddler, Gabriel Wheaton, for his lightening quick playing on his solos. They played a solid set, mixing up songs of varying tempos, and kicked off the party atmosphere with some brisk numbers at the end. Their web site notes that they are on a mission to get you dancing — on that Saturday night, mission accomplished! These were the tunes written down on their set list:

  1. Marie del Mar” from WTF
  2. Toxic” a Britney Spears cover
  3. She Belongs” from Culver Session
  4. Solo Cognito” from WTF
  5. Cheap Elegance
  6. Last Night” from WTF
  7. Fiddlin’
  8. “Tula”
  9. Rich Man” based on “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof
  10. Won’t You Come Back”from WTF
  11. They played an additional instrumental song for an encore

 

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T Sisters Performing at The Troubadour

Next up were the T Sisters bringing their musical flair in the tradition of classic female trios to the Troubadour stage. These ladies sang some soulful tunes with pretty harmonies encompassing the folk, Americana, and even disco genres, and clearly had a fun time dancing around the stage, keeping the party grooving. They announced that they were just finishing up a Kickstarter campaign, so look for their second full length album to come out in the near future. Their set list included:

  1. “You’re All I Need to Get By”
  2. Shadoop
  3. Come Back Down” (an original song, not the one of the same name by Toad the Wet Sprocket)
  4. Broken Wings” from Kindred Lines (and not the Mr. Mister tune)
  5. “Road”
  6. “Love Me Today”
  7. “Thief”
  8. “Fight” a song they described as being “about fighting for what you care about”
  9. Woo Woo” from Kindred Lines
  10. I Will Survive” cover of song made famous by Gloria Gaynor

 

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Liz Beebe and Z. Lupetin of Dustbowl Revival Perform at The Troubadour

Dustbowl Revival played their set no holds barred. Each band member was invested in enthusiastically laying down the music and they did so with panache. The crowd responded with much joy and the energy in the room fed right back into the band.  The slew of new songs they played that night were sounding tight and the familiar ones got everyone pumped up. The music switched from one genre to another, whether it be bluegrass, swing, Southern soul, jazz or traditional; the variety of styles kept the show entertaining and highlighted the skill and talent of each musician. Their set list was as follows:

 

  1. “I Decided”

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    Bassist James Klopfleisch Having Fun in the Shadows

  2. It Ain’t My Fault” from With a Lampshade On
  3. Old Joe Clark” from With a Lampshade On
  4. “Busted”
  5. Big Boned Girl
  6. Honey I Love You” singer Z Lupetin prefaced this by mentioning that people ask them, “Why don’t you have any nice love songs?  It’s all death and destruction.” Then he said, “We have one, now we have two.” Check out the link for this new song that shows Liz and Z. singing a duet sans the band.
  7. Feels Good” from With a Lampshade On, I used a line from this song for the post title
  8. Midnight Special” traditional folk song, with T Sisters joining on vocals
  9. I Don’t Drink Anymore
  10. Midnight Rolls Around
  11. John the Revelator” from Carry Me Home
  12. DSC05524

    Singer Liz Beebe

    “Without You” a new song written by Liz Beebe that they referred to as a “car commercial” song and wanted to let advertisers know it is available. Also, Liz noted that it was about “being with someone and being okay without them.”

  13. Folsom Prison Blues” Johnny Cash cover
  14. The Fire
  15.  Song with lyrics, “Don’t let that girl break your heart”
  16. Lampshade On” from With a Lampshade On; there may have been some climbing on things (Ulf climbing lighting rigging with his trombone, Z. hopping on a giant box next to the stage — see photo below) that aren’t usually used as performance platforms.

 

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Z. Lupetin, With a Lampshade On!

They performed their encore in the middle of the crowd, playing “New River Train” from Carry Me Home and moving seamlessly into “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The mood was seriously electric in that space for a band that had unplugged. The audience was so revved up they cheered the band on to play a second encore. I briefly wondered if there would be a riot if they didn’t come back on stage.  The group did return for the “fast and raunchy” (as Z. dubbed it), “Whiskey in the Well.” The crowd would have loved for them to play all night long, myself included.

 

 

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Drummer in Red, Josh Heffernan Takes a Solo

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Daniel Mark and Connor Vance Swap Instruments

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