Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lonesome Locomotive Rocks at the Milk Bar in S.F.

On a busy weekend of listening to music, I report in from last night's couple of hours of Lonesome Locomotive music at the Milk Bar on Haight Street, near Stanyan. My drummer, Tony, and I ventured to the historic Haight-Ashbury district and enjoyed the powerful and perfectly synched up sounds of the young band, which has been playing together a lot after forming last year.

My specific interests were hearing my friend Mike Meagher--the bassist, and he didn't disappoint. I also wanted to see the venue and meet the person who set up the musicians. I succeeded. Other band members include Michael Rosen, Brian Byrnes, Erin Cassidy, Steven Sparapani, and Kit Ruscoe. The vocal harmonies of Rosen and Byrnes were strong, Byrnes' leads evoked the Dead (at least two of the songs they played were by the seminal S.F. band). The drums were exactly right and played with enthusiasm (I saw at least one instance of baton-like stick flipping--a little flair).

The venue is long and narrow with the bar along the left, booths up front on the right (empty last night) and a cozy back room containing a small stage--about big enough for five people. In this case, Steven the cellist, when he joined in on a couple of numbers, took the left side of the L-shaped raised platform.

Besides enjoying the music and sampling the half dozen beer choices on tap, I met Amy, a young woman who spent much of the evening successfully rolling a hula hoop around her hips. A second woman joined her at times. We were served by an attractive traditionally tattooed and coifed female bartender.

The small crowd seemed happy to be there and the vibe was mellow. The Sunday Bluegrass schedule at the Milk Bar starts in midafternoon every Sunday, so Lonesome Locomotive were the third band to go on. We arrived just a little before their show. You could spend the day there--and I plan to show up earlier next time.

After a couple of beers over the two hours, we were hungry, so we visited Escape to New York and enjoyed pizza by the slice and Cokes. The perfect meal for 9:30 p.m. on a Sunday night! They had an autographed album by Elvis Costello on the wall.

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