by: Thomas D. Mooney
Larry g(EE) and Kirby Brown made their return The Blue Light this past Saturday (February 07) after a pretty significant lapse of time–it had been some two years since either Dallas artist (Brown being formerly DFW based, now living in New York City) had graced a stage in Lubbock. As matter of fact, the last time either had, it was with one another. It’s not that either hadn’t wanted to make a trip out west to the flatlands of the Panhandle, but as things often go, neither has had the time. It’s rather fitting that both returned to a stage that, at one time, was as familiar as any in Dallas.
We were there jotting down notes, taking photographs, and sampling the various array of burn shots with Brown, g(EE), and company. Last week, we caught up with g(EE) and Brown both. Read each interview in which we discuss the success of many Dallas area artists, their upcoming albums that both should be out in 2015, and their individual songwriting processes. For g(EE) click here and Brown here.
- Kirby Brown was really a last-minute addition to the show. He had flown in from New York the previous day. Originally, he was going to play acoustic, but ended up playing with Daniel Creamer on keys and Aaron Haynes on drums–two musicians who also play with Larry g(EE) and are part of the collection of musicians known as the Texas Gentlemen. They’re primarily used by Dallas-area music producer Beau Bedford. As you’d probably guess, Creamer and Haynes both play on Brown’s upcoming sophomore album.
- Brown’s (and g(EE)’s for that matter) material was all pretty much foreign to the majority of the crowd that gathered in Blue Light on Saturday night. Brown unfortunately didn’t have the largest of crowds to play for. It’d pick up as the night progressed, but it seems as though Lubbock’s still sleeping on the two artists–which you’d think is quiet strange, but it does remind you that the reality is that crowds fluctuate and have rapid turnover, especially in college towns such as Lubbock. In saying that, the crowd was rather receptive. If Lubbock knows what’s best, they’ll soon be on the bandwagon.
- Brown would play two classic covers during his set: John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” and Gary P. Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues (Home With the Armadillo).” Interestingly enough, a while back we asked a handful of artists what album they’d want to cover in full for a show, in which Brown answered with John Prine’s 1971 debut album, John Prine. Read that short interview here.
- At eight pieces, Larry g(EE)’s band has to currently hold the record for largest band to play Blue Light. And every person on that stage was indispensable. As a matter of fact, you’d have been entertained and impressed had you primarily watched any individual–from g(EE) to Haynes to guitarist Beau Bedford–yeah, the one who’s producing incredible records and we ask every DFW band about.
- I’ve read a few things comparing g(EE) to Bruno Mars. I guess I can see the comparison working at times, but really, he’s channeling the likes of James Brown and other large soul bands of the ’60s and 70s. He definitely has the charisma of a frontman, but it’s not all show. There’s incredible talent behind g(EE)’s vocal range.
- They’d played probably the most impressive Ginuwine covers I’ve ever heard. Which, granted I’ve not heard many–if any–Ginuwine covers in my day. I’ll go as far as saying their rendition of “Pony” was the best r&b cover of any ’90s to ’00s artist I’ve heard (Off the top of my head, Blackstreet, Usher, Montell Jordan, and R. Kelly I’ve heard done.) They slowed it down into this slow burning groove that if heard by others, would deter them from ever even attempting anything remotely close. It was that fucking good.
- Back to the eight-piece band part: It’s extremely difficult to carry eight pickle burn shots to the stage by yourself. I saw it attempted multiple times with many near spills and drops.
- g(EE)’s two harmony vocalists–collectively known as The Affections–would sing the Dusty Springfield standard “Son of a Preacher Man.” It was during this that seemingly every female in the venue decided to do their best Mia Wallace impression. Two shakes of a lamb’s tail. And yes, I know they didn’t dance to this song, but rather Chuck Berry’s “You Can Never Tell,” but that’s not the point.