I have a love-hate relationship with drum machines, loop pedals, and things like that. Mostly love, because they allow a lone artist to produce a fuller, more interesting (to me) sound in the loud, small joints I think of as home. On the other hand, it sometimes seems kinda like cheating. Not quite Lance Armstrong cheating, of course, because it's not easy to make good accompaniments. In fact, it takes a lot of musical skill and time to do it well. I bring up the subject only to put in perspective the surprise and delight I experienced at Crunchy's Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 in East Lansing, taking in the music of Jackalope, a fully acoustic performance - straight, no mixers (or loop pedals). When I saw them pop up on the schedule and tracked down who they were, I was thinking it was loopy to put a three-piece (including an upright bass!) in that small area at the front of the main dining room. But it worked (though I understand the even-larger Off The Ledge band, one of my local favorites, was in fact a bit uncomfortable the week before). But why they kept the baseball game playing behind them is beyond me,
So let's talk about the music, I walked in around 10:30 to Wagon Wheel (are we tired of that one yet? maybe not; I say keep it comin'), thinking it was going to be a night of covers, which, you know, is normal and perfectly fine. But then these tunes kept popping up that sounded so familiar yet I couldn't place them. So I asked at break, and was told nope, they're originals, and I started to get excited. One solid original tune after another kept coming. Decent pitch, well-timed harmonies, and all three sang. So fun. My two favorites were "Rich Man", and "Ridiculous", "Something Shook Loose," if memory serves me right on the title, was outstanding, but don't look for it. It hasn't been recorded yet. Their facebook page puts their style as "Americana, Post-Modern Cowboy Swing, Country R&B". Guitarist and recent Colorado transplant Charlie Richardson is the primary songwriter, I believe, with religious studies professor David Stowe super chill on the drums, and law professor Mike Lawrence poppin' it quite right on the upright bass. Give a listen in the video, this is the only one I could find, but it doesn't do justice to what I heard Wednesday night. I want me some more of that.