Who's who of 1980s rock 

Greg Foresman and His Minstrels of Joy, danny flanigan and the rain chorus
Birdy’s Bar & Grill
Friday, Jan. 5

The musical roster at Birdy’s on Friday night read like a who’s who of 1980s rock musicians. Greg Foresman fronted The Hammerheads from 1988 to 1992. Danny Flanigan was the leader of Hopscotch Army and left the band in 1990. Both proved why they are still a force on the music front decades later.

Foresman, the guitarist for country music great Martina McBride, now leads his rock and roll solo project, Greg Foresman and His Minstrels of Joy. His guitar skills at Birdy’s brought well-earned comparison to influences Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The Minstrels of Joy lineup included keyboard player/vocalist Nick McDermott, who just moved back to Indianapolis after five years of living in Nashville, Tenn. “I had a blast on my first real night back here,” he says. “It feels real nice.”

Bass player Tim Halcombe lent his considerable talent to both bands, while drummer Aaron Montgomery also sat in on the rain chorus set. Guitar player John Byrne, also a 1980s rock icon (Mere Mortals), took on double duty, sitting in on a few tunes with Foresman and acted as lead guitar player for the rain chorus. Byrne, who plays electric guitar, Dobro and pedal steel, has earned his reputation as one of the best guitar players in Indianapolis.

danny flanigan and the rain chorus’ enthusiastic crowd sang along to their original songs. The rain chorus started with “Hourglass” from Sun Over Rain and played through their discography to their latest release, Live Lunch. Nearly everyone in the audience stood up, bopping their heads to the raucous “Iowa” and “Nina and Henrietta.” Kelly Wilkerson and mandolin player Phillip Wakeman added their vocal talents to produce beautiful harmonies.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Foresman will bring his band back to Indianapolis for a two-night stand at the Slippery Noodle Feb. 9-10.

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