Andre Ethier with John Crossingham and Ghost Story at the Silver Dollar, April 15. Tickets: $6. Attendance: 150. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
it's always both an exciting and scary experience to witness a member of a well-respected rock band branching out and doing his own thing. I headed to the Silver Dollar last Thursday night to hear André Ethier 's solo gig hoping for some kind of crazy departure from the balls-out, shake-yer-ass, trash rock of the Deadly Snakes. The Deadly Snakes, after all, are a hard act to live up to.
I've seen grown women reduced to teenaged flutterings over these guys.
Got there early enough to catch a nifty set of low-key, a-man-and-his-guitar tunes from John Crossingham , who played admirably to a mere handful of folks, followed by some fine folky blues indie rock with a country tinge from Ghost Story as the room started to fill up. Which is good, cuz I was starting to think, "Where is everybody?"
Ethier was joined by Christopher Sandes on piano. It's a delightful combo - Sandes's melodic, atmospheric barroom tinkering offsets and complements Ethier's fetching rootsy folk rock, clever/poignant lyrics and sometimes gravelly vocals. Very Bob Dylan with tinges of Tom Waits. All good things, combined with a sanguine, self-assured presence proving that Ethier is a first-rate performer with multi-layered abilities.
Though Ethier probably could have easily held up on his own, the duo was later joined by Andrew Gunn on drums and Matt Carlson on bass, which actually brings most of the Snakes onto the stage, filling out the sound and showcasing a more mellow side to their already poly-dimensional, riotous garage-punk alter egos.
The set ended with a cover of It's Alright To Cry, originally sung by Rosey Grier on Free To Be You And Me, which transfers perfectly from an empowering song for little kids into a soulful rock lament. Awesome choice if you wanna tug at the heartstrings of the kids of the 70s.
Sure as hell worked on me.