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Friday, October 2, 2009

Ye Olde Saloon, The Reefermen, The Waybacks and more!

Ye Olde Saloon, Royal Oak, MI

On a recent trip to my favorite saloon in Royal Oak, Ye Olde Saloon, (notice the Old English spelling) I was fortunate to catch half of the traveling cover band known as The Reefermen.  Their set at Ye Olde was not much to look at.  The acoustic guitarist and singer/tambourine/harmonica player both sat the whole time.  But the songs they covered they did with such soul and ease it seemed as though they were just jamming on the back porch for no one but themselves.  In fact these two guys were so laid back we thought they might take long breaks between songs.  Their set included songs like Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy" and a Led Zeppelin medly.  It was like we were watching an unplugged version of a Reefermen show, while cracking jokes about what kind of activities they partake in before a show and during breaks.  It's bands like this that make Ye Olde a great place to sit down, have a Pabst (draft) and listen to some good music.

The Zeppelin cover got us talking about a band called The Waybacks.  My friend who runs the site suggested I check out the band on YouTube because of a set they did at Merlefest where they covered Led Zeppelin's entire II album.  So that night I did check it out and it was amazing.  The guitarist for the otherwise old timey folk and bluegrass band is James Nash and can really pick.  Their Zep set also included vocals by John Cowan, a fantastic bluegrass artist in his own right, who sounds eerily similar to Robert Plant.  The banjo and violin solos also add some bluegrass flavor to otherwise very crisp and clean covers of these classics.  I have only included one video but be sure to check out the others on YouTube under "The Waybacks Merlefest."

I have recently moved to Ferndale, MI. and live extremely close to the downtown area which brings me to my next topic, The Magic Bag.  The Magic Bag is Ferndale's premier night time event showplace.  They host live music acts as well as brew and views and special screenings of movies.  Although I have not visited the venue yet, I may not be able to help myself this October.  Tonight at the Bag, Living Colour


performs starting at 8pm.  Then tomorrow the Mega 80's


(probably the greatest 80's cover band of all time, more like of all time) plays starting at 8pm.  The list goes on and on and includes a brew and view of The Hangover, concerts by Brandon Calhoun (check out past post on Four Green Fields and drunken bingo) and Mason Jennings.

Norm MacDonald will be at the Royal Oak Music Theater tonight for a show at .  MacDonald, stand up comic and actor, is famous for his dry, sometimes raunchy humor that won him a stint on Saturday Night Live hosting The Weekend Update.  He also starred alongside Artie Lange in the movie Dirty Work.


The kids these days like to describe big screw ups and mistakes as "fails."  Well I just discovered this blog called failblog that posts pictures, videos and news stories about "fails."  I have not integrated "fail" in to my vocabulary yet but if you have you will probably enjoy this site.
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