Tunes For Teachers: Community For A CauseJan 30th, 2013 | By Allen Martin | Category: Feature
On Saturday, January 26, 2013, a thriving community came together for a very worthy cause. Helena Love, in conjunction with Backlot Records, hosted Tunes For Teachers, a benefit show for Guilford County Teachers Toolbox, to help cover school teachers’ costs in providing quality education in our public school system.
I may be a little biased here, because I’m a fan of all three bands, and The FlatIron Bar is my regular. That said, I’ve rarely had a more enjoyable night in the place.
The Old 1-2 Kicked off the show around 10pm. There are few bands in town more solid and reliable. Having seen Hawke Kelley, brothers Chadd and Nathan Myers at least twenty times, I’m still not bored. They’ve evolved, gotten tighter and more diverse, but haven’t lost any of the intensity that first drew me to them two years ago. You’re practically guaranteed a good time when these guys are on stage, and this night was no different.
Next up was a moment we’ve all been waiting (and waiting) for. The debut of Harry, a psychotic piano-driven rock and roll carnival, led by Harrison Barrow. I’ve heard these songs since practically their inception, from the early rough mixes, to the current final mastered state. Eat Worms is a studio album – layered, textured, well recorded and produced by Randy Seals at On Pop of the World recording studios. It’s difficult to recreate something this complex on stage, but with the crack Backlot musicians (Doug Pike/electric keyboard, Jacob Darden/guitar, Randy Seals/drums, and Jack Carter/bass) as a backing band, they more than pulled it off.
Well, after more waiting that is – one of the more grueling soundchecks/tuneups I’ve ever tolerated in a bar. But… just wow. I’m not the most astute or knowledgable music critic, and while the comparisons people throw around (Ben Folds, Leon Russell, etc…) are occasionally accurate, they really do no justice to, nor accurately paint the entire picture of the project known as Harry. I felt like I could occasionally hear strains of Joe Jackson’s excellent Night & Day album, but again, that’s just not saying enough. We really witnessed something special here, and it was more than worth the wait.
Just buy the record…
I was present at the first live performance by Jack Carter & The Armory, in a basement of a house formerly occupied by members of The Old 1-2. It was rough and loose and promising as hell – everyone there knew this would be one of Greensboro’s best bands, if not THE best band in town. Just over a year later, we’ve all been proven right. They’re no longer loose, but just the right amount of rough. I’ve also seen this band several times, and I can say Saturday night’s performance was as good I’ve seen, and likely the best yet. The current lineup features Jack on guitar, the aforementioned Harrison Barrow on keyboards, Randy Seals on bass, Doug Pike on drums, and the recent addition of Jacob Darden on guitar cannot be overstated. Ray Davies had stage presence. Mick Jagger and Lux Interior had stage presence. Jack Carter HAS stage presence. If you haven’t yet, you need to see this band.
Helena, you did a wonderful thing. Great night, great people, and great performances for for a cause that’s as important as anything in our community and in our country at this time. Education is the key to everything.
Not to be overlooked, the staff at The Flatiron are doing a wonderful job. Blake Idol and Caren Kemp didn’t miss a beat last Saturday night. Though I’ve loved the place for over 20 years, there is a renewed energy there. Stop in and have a drink. Tell them Marty sent you and maybe they’ll let you pay off part of my tab.