Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Del Lords ride into NYC on a summer storm after 23 years

6/29/13 15:50

I checked the Del Lords site and saw…drum roll please by the drum master…Frank Funaro…The Del Lords were playing Thursday at Bowery Electric, their first NYC appearance in 23 years.  To be fair the band played a couple of years back in the city at the now closed historic Lakeside Club, but that night the band played under the thin veil as rumors swirled… The Elvis Club.  That show and another at a house party in Rhode Island was a prelude for a summer/ Spanish tour back in 2010.  I bought my ticket for Bowery Electric and you know the deal, who wants to go email was sent out to the likely candidates, can’t do it, not permitted, hosting a training session…hold everything; it’s The Del Lords in New York city, it’s like July 1984 came swirling in with the rains and humidity and like a blast of the past.  After getting a veggie sandwich and a homemade lemonade from the vendor, I headed over to the club and went down stairs.  The place was packed, but I saw Frank setting up and went over to say Hi.  Frank grew up around the corner from me and would tell his sister Jill to tell me whenever the band played on Long Island.  I saw a few times, Sparks in Huntington.  Waited outside Horse Feathers in East Northport, and saw them play The Ritz and of course the classic night The Del Lords opening for The Smithereens at Fordham.  So, when I saw Frank and called out to him, he gave me a thumbs up.  I made my way to the bar; climbing up steps and then back down to the floor with the pint in glass, found a place next to a rustic brick wall.  The place was jammed with thin and worn men and women with grey hair and sagging breasts, faded tattoos, but there was a spirit in the room that was undeniable, an excitable resonance for our old hearts and ears, the secret was out… The Del Lords are back. The men walked down a stair case and took their positions on the stage…Scott said, “How’s everyone doing?  It’s been a long time…” and the crisp music blared amongst calls of, “We missed you!”  “Welcome back!”
The Del Lord’s voices were strong and I was impressed with Eric Ambel taking the lead vocals as well as incredible licks as the lead guitarist.  Their sound is fuller, more mature and there was an ease on the stage, they enjoyed each other and could sense the energy as people danced and rocked their heads to pure American Rock and Roll…

Set List:
Drug deal
I’m gomna be around
Burning in the flame of love
When the drugs kick in
Poor man
Judas kiss
Me and the lord blues
About you
Get tough
I play the drums
Encore: heaven and southern pacific

I hung out with Frank for awhile, even helping to take some of his equipment to back stage.  Frank introduced me to Eric and Mike DuClos their new bassist, as well as to Scott and mentioned to them I grew up a 100 yards from his house and I saw the band way back in the day.  I hope the day doesn’t set for this band, hope they keep on down this road they’re heading on and making taking on more fans.  On the way home I listened to their new album, The Elvis show.  The album is diverse and sets their music on different roads.  It’s stripped down more than their heavily produced albums from more than twenty years ago. This gem opens up with the catchy, When the Drugs Kick in…Here I go….here I go again…as if they didn’t stop playing or partying since 1990.  I was impressed with countdown and the slide guitar on Chicks man, I assume that’s Eric on the slide.  Flying which is also very catchy, “Everyone loves a winner, till they get too big…”  Scott sings an emotionally, “All of my Life”…I put out that fire before it starts…the Buddy Hollyish pop Everyday….which has the band singing back up which was their unique sound.  Me and The Lord Blues sounds like a heavy metal song and is different from the other songs on the album, “Where is my God of Mercy…is killing me…” The slow Mississippi drawl of You can make a Mistake one time, carries on the heavy load of distorted feedback as if they recorded this on one take in a grungy basement…save me from myself…one time…she told me my very existence was a sin…while Frank taps a steady beat with a click clack…then there is the easy listening Silverlake, it’s just a matter of time. The album closes with a powerful rendition of Neil Young’s Southern Pacific.  This album is the what you want to listen to when you're driving on the highway, taking the family out on a long drive and you can slip into the streams and watch steam rising off the road.

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