Written by Eddie Ferranti

egt1aIt is very rare these days when performers “collaborate” on a musical project and take it out on the road for a test spin.   One such treat came in the form of The El Grande’ Trio to the splendid confines of Main Street Crossing in Tomball, Texas.  The talented line-up consisted of John Evans on bass, Mike Stinson on drums and Jesse Dayton on electric guitar.  All three of these fellows are holding their own quite nicely these days with their respective bands and it was beyond interesting to go see what this would sound like as a trio.

I got a chance to chat with Stinson before the show and they had three gigs under their belt to date in Houston and Austin that were received warmly.  In fact he said he’d never seen McGonigel’s Mucky Duck so packed and rowdy when they played there.  I also caught Evans and his statement to me was: “You’re gonna dig this son!”

Well it did not take long to get a feel for the night when they stormed into Stinson’s “May Have To Do It” and woke up the building!  Evans on animated bass was a gas and MS can really handle the skins to mashing perfection, but the unsung hero was the electric scorching that Dayton displayed not just on this tune but all night long. The tone was set for a night of raunchy on fire rock for the most part and it was awesome.

The show was handled in a song swap arrangement and each song took on a life of its own with a slant to the harder side that did not hurt my feelings.  Combining these three deranged in a good way cats really meshed well on stage with funny jabs being tossed out all night!  Even the song selection resonated that theme with Dayton’s “Daddy Was a Bad Ass”, JE’s “Whiskey Woman Delta High” and red hot crescendo of energy on Stinson’s “Fast & Loose” rippin’ the joint up.

egt2a  More song highlights included JE’s “The World is Breaking Up With Me”, epic Dayton on “Im Out Gettin’ Hammered (While She’s Out Gettin’ Nailed)”, plus song they wrote together on the way to Louisiana titled “Champagne & Ribs” which they dead panned must be an advertisement for the Catholic church!  Classic.

They veered off for a short set on acoustic where they “let the drummer” stand up and Evans’ “My Profession Left Me Drinking Whiskey”, “JD on “Like a Possum Ran Over My Grave” and “Beautiful Thang” were sweet.   Comical flash back Stinson told me was he found out early on he could not hang with the hard liquor “talents” of his two band mates!  Epic.

But there was no doubt that the reason this gig was even happening was to showcase the rockin’ prowess of this trio.  When you can turn Stinson’s “Box I Take to Work” into a hard shredding bombastic song you’re doin’ somethin’ I mean to tell ya.  Dayton just mashed the pedal to the floor roaring thru “Tall Walking Texas Trash” and a fitting tribute to the recently departed David Bowie with a spine tingling version of  “Suffragette City” which left the audience with a WTF just happened look on their faces!  This get together definitely gathered some traction and I’d love to see if it comes together more often down the road.  For one night it was beyond worth it to kick out the jams with three very talented wild and crazy guys……….bring it back!