Middletown Reunion Show
The Upper Room
Thursday, Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m., $3
After performing with Aaron Stroup for 13 years, Tad Armstrong says he and Stroup now “dress alike and eat the same foods.” In 2000, the duo had wrapped up their previous band, His Righteous Fold, and began playing in Shaffer Street. With drummer Gonzalo Dies, they teamed up with Stasia Demos to play the Patio’s Christmas party. The fact that they became a new band, Middletown, was a happy accident.
All of the members play several instruments in addition to singing and writing music. Armstrong plays bass, guitar and piano; Stroup plays guitar and pedal steel; Demos plays guitar, bass and accordion; Dies plays various percussion instruments.
The alt-country group hosted an acoustic show every Sunday night at the Wellington Pub for a year, and the gigs drew an audience of fans and fellow musicians, including Peter Holsapple (Continental Drifters, REM).
With the success of regular Indianapolis show dates and regional tours, Middletown released Welcome to the Family in 2002 (Flat Earth Records). After a few changes, the band quit playing two years later, and the members scattered.
The last time Armstrong, Stroup and Demos performed together was at the Upper Room on Stroup’s birthday in April 2005. “Jeff Sample was always good to us, and we’ve always had great shows there,” Armstrong says.
Above the Broad Ripple Steak House in the Upper Room this Thursday, you can expect to hear beautiful harmonies, amazing guitar playing, accordion solos, road stories (ask about Armstrong’s Cape Cod sand sculpting adventure), original songs and quirky covers.