Cameron McGill, Gentleman Caller, Vulgar Boatmen

Melody Inn

Friday, Jan. 14 Kenny Childers of Gentleman Caller Groovetruck Productions assembled a bevy of musicians of similar degree for a well-attended show at the Melody. The Vulgar Boatmen are one of “those bands”, a band that should have made it bigger. They still played a remarkably kicky pastiche of rock -n- roll. Damn, their songs are good, and what’s better is that they’ve stood the test of time. With 10 fans-a-leaping for every song, singer Dale Lawrence mixed the menu of their compilation Wide Awake, playing stop-on-a-dime songs while inspiring and enchanting all the villagers.

Gentleman Caller’s sweet rock garden was definitely in bloom with the compiled talents of Kenny Childers, Derek Richey, Jim Robinson, Chris Kupersmith and Freda Love. They power-popped their way through silky songs like “Ice Water” and “Summer Dresses,” and their groovy, hip-swinging pace set a tone both dire and soulful. Something about Kenny’s voice makes the women coo like babies, and the poetic play between guitar and organ lends to melodic resolve.

Adding Chicago-based Cameron McGill to the line-up, the evening shimmied up the euphonious vine. Cameron’s sound is more delightful and less woeful backed by a full band; there was energy and fire between his songs about love, or moving on. McGill’s charm sets his mood aglow, and he always delivers the goods sealed with a kiss. Particularly moving were the songs “Overboard” and “What the Hell.” Visiting bassist Jason Brammer shone brightly, and the sonic blending started the evening off on the right foot. I doubt there was a better show playing anywhere in the world Friday night.

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