(June 28, 2015) – The band laid into a thick swampy vibe. The drummer put down a groove so hard, you “can drive nails with it,” the singer said. The young guitar player closed his eyes and cradled into his aging Telecaster, wringing out stinging notes between vocal lines.
Susan leaned against a post, swayed to the beat, and sang along.
It was Ray Wylie Hubbard’s second and final encore for the rowdy east Tennessee crowd, and the ageless Texas icon was singing about a “Chick Singer, Bad Ass Rockin’.” I looked over at Susan and thought, “Yep.”
A little over 24 hours earlier, I’d watched her from across the stage at the Basement in Nashville, admiring the way she swayed to to the beat with her beloved ’72 Precision Bass strapped around her neck while laying down a groove that was deeper than deep. I love to see her plant her feet and dig into the low end, occasionally dipping her left shoulder in time with the music. I love watching her sing, the way she cocks her head to the left and occasionally looks over at me from the corner of her eye. I really dig her voice, especially when lets a little growl creep in at certain moments.
All of that’s reason enough for me to put up with the bullshit that sometimes goes with playing music.
But this was Saturday, we were off the clock and the two of us were out for two kinds of r n’ r: rest and recreation, and rock n’ roll.
We’d gotten into town mid-afternoon after two days of gigs. Free Saturdays have been at a premium lately, so we felt like going to watch some music. We were fortunate enough to score a couple passes to the Hubbard show (thanks Jimmy and Josh), so we cleaned ourselves up and made the 30-minute drive to the Shed in Maryville, just south of Knoxville.