Written by James Killen
Apr 27, 2013 at 03:00 PM
ImageWe made it down to the second ward last Saturday for HMR’s founder/administrator, Samuel Barker’s big birthday bash. The event took place at Bohemeo’s, tucked away in a business plaza where Telephone Road turns into Leeland at Lockwood.

It’s a nice little burger and beer joint full of U of H students taking advantage of the wi-fi, that features a little indoor stage and a nice outdoor plaza stage. When I arrived, various band members were schlepping equipment through the drizzling rain to the outdoor stage.

The music kicked off a little after 3pm with the Ben Hall and the Dragliners. The Dragliners feature Ben on lead vocals/guitar, Sam Barker on bass, Matt Ling on a Les Paul, Nathan Taylor on a Telecaster and Randy Hill on drums. The Dragliners, at one time, could claim Matt Harlan as one of their own.

ImageTheir music is a country-cajun-rock mixture that has a beat and keeps you entertained. In addition to their own compositions, the Dragliners played covers of John Prine and Josh Ritter songs. Nathan really kicked it with some great guitar licks and some carefully controlled distortion. The rain continued to build through the set with holes in the big tarp beginning to leak more profusely.

The duet of Ryan Dickson and Kevin Choate, also known as The Snow Indian, came out to play some originals in addition to covering Bob Dylan (One More Cup of Coffee) and Pink Floyd (Fearless).

By the time the two had gotten into the second song, there was not a dry eye in the house. As a matter of fact, absolutely nothing was dry as the thunder, lightning and rain picked up. The wind began to blow a ferocious, horizontal torrent through the crowd huddled under the tarp. All but the most devoted (or maybe the most inebriated) were driven inside for most of the set.

ImageHuke Green and Sam Barker set up their gear for the Wayward Sons’ set, while dodging raindrops and cursing the lightning.

Each of the guys had set up a kick drum made out of a small suitcase with a pick-up wired in. They actually sounded a lot like a bass drum from a kit.

The guys played over weather noises and street sounds as emergency vehicles ran up and down Leeland for who knows what weather-related emergency.

Huke’s gravelly voice and Sam’s well placed electric lead guitar licks pushed through the set that included the songs “Down by Old River” and “Crystal Beach”, while the crowd munched on birthday cupcakes.

ImageThe last band up for the evening, and arguably giving the best performance, was Little Outfit, which featured Randy Hill and Nathan Taylor from the Dragliners on guitars backing up vocalist Amie Krebbs.

They covered “Sin City” and the Band of Heathens “Hurricane” (a song that seemed appropriate for the day). Amie’s delivery on “You Wanna Know Why” drove the lyrics home like a stake to the heart. They’ll be playing the Firehouse Saloon on June 6th if you’d like to mark your calendars.

All in all, everyone had a great time in spite of the weather, helping Sam to celebrate his thirty-fourth birthday. He might be feeling a little older these days, watching the kids grow up and feeling the extra weight of responsibility, but the good news is, as we older folks know, you get to hit reset at 50 and start the fun all over again.