Weekend of local rock volume 53

As I mentioned Monday, I spent part of my weekend getting sunburned but listening to some great music at the Concert for a Random Soldier. I missed last year’s effort but saw most of what went down this year.

We were running late as often occurs, so we missed the first act entirely and came just in time to see the Mari Hill Band wrap up.

How did I know it was the Mari Hill Band? Because they were playing this very song:

That video was from the 2011 Concert for a Random Soldier, so as you can see the setup is basically the same. The set order may have differed, but the sound was there too.

This meant that the first act we saw in its entirety was the acoustic stylings of Kyle Offidani, a Delaware native who returned from Austin, Texas to do the show.

His was a complex, complicated set of mostly originals which seemed to be received tepidly. It wasn’t the standard upbeat set of cover songs most acoustical acts are known for locally.

But somehow it worked rather well in setting up Lost Weekend, which came at us with a very blues-oriented set.

I didn’t see if this couple had red shoes, but they danced the blues.

The C4RS always seems to have at least one blues act, with one of the more prominent being lower case blues. These guys were no exception, and they played the role rather well.

The next acoustic act was actually a stand-in, as Joey Fulkerson played a brief solo set in place of Ashley Mitchell, who was originally scheduled.

Since the acoustic acts were set up as sort of a side stage to the main bands, Joey didn’t actually yield the stage to C4RS staples Semiblind, but once he finished Semiblind started their set of covers which spanned a generation.

They appealed to both young and old with their mix of songs, and spare instruments.

I found out later that Michele brought the extra instruments intentionally knowing these kids would be there. Nothing like a little music appreciation for the young.

Returning to the acoustical stage, Lisa Says No came on for the first of their two musical interludes.

They played a set more modern than most acoustic cover sets, with a lot of songs from this century or just beforehand. I guess these would be the songs our troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan grew up with.

Many of the Vietnam vets grew up hearing what Oh Boy brought to the stage.

Oh Boy! is a band which variously bills itself as a tribute to Buddy Holly or a tribute to rockabilly, depending on the show. In this case I would go with the rockabilly, judging by the set list which blew over to me.

These songs got quite a few of the older folks there to their feet.

They may have also recognized some of what the next group did, but it was shaped musically to a more unique form by the Joey Fulkerson Trio.

This is actually 3/4 of a band better known as Nothin’ But Trouble. But Joey was doing nothin’ but shredding on some Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix – if you were comfortably numb after that you were probably dead.

Bassist Greg Haughey was enjoying the moment, too.

After all that, I almost felt sorry for Blind Willie as they had to follow a really good show. But they held their own, returning to mainstream rock for the time I was there.

From what I understood, the last act was to be a jam session featuring a number of musicians who stuck around to play, but hay fever won out on us.

It’s worth noting that host Terri Clifton pointed out in her remarks that they had 12 acts, but three times that were interested in playing the event (for free.) I’ve said this a few times over the years, but it’s worth stating the case again that artists are happy to make time to help out charities like Guitars for Vets and the Chad Clifton Foundation. Next year I’m sure a couple dozen bands will want to do the same.

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