I arrived about 10 minutes before The Bush League were going to hit the stage and got a chance to renew old acquaintances with Royce Folks, Jay Cecil and Shane Parch, and to meet Debbie Flood, who took over for drummer Gwen a month or so back.
The band hit the stage and right away, you knew they were taking no prisoners on this night. They call their music FuB&RR for Funk, Blues & Rock and Roll.
Jay was in full voice - this guy never has a bad day on stage, his attitude is infectious. His smile begins miles to the east and finishes somewhere over the horizon to the west. He enjoyes an interplay with the audience and even with a sparse crowd on this evening, he did not miss a beat warning the men that "You never sing this in public, only when you are alone' before they launched into the fun "Gotta Woman".
Shane was ripping on guitar - both electric and acoustic, where he showed off his slide skills. As you will see Shane is a left-handed guitar-slinger. He brings that sharp rock edge to many of The Bush league songs, yet also handles traditional blues with skill.
Royce held the bottom strong on his acoustic bass - a very cool instrument. Royce is a bassist of little body movement as his fingers dance across the frets. A shoulder lift here, a nod to Debbie there and a grin when he feels the band has hit the groove.
Debbie proved she could keep up with the boys providing a strong steady drum line. She attacks the drums more than plays them, all the while staying solid to the rhythm line.
During the set, they brought Jeremy Powell on stage. Jeremy is a local Memphis product who plays keys with Vince Johnson and The Plantation All-Stars. Jeremy is a star in waiting. He just loves to play, that is evident and his nimble fingers added a new take to The Bush League songs.
I even got a shout from the stage in honor of my birthday which, at that point, was about an hour away...thanks again for that gang!
I left after their first set to make my way to my third venue of the evening, but will suggest, if you get a chance to catch The Bush League live, take advantage and do so!
In the meantime, check out their website where you can purchase their music, including their latest Live, recorded at The National in Richmond, VA.
John Jay - Can you not feel his passion?
Shane Parch - Lefty Guitar-Slinger with a Rock-Blues Soul
Royce Folks - Did you see the shoulder move?