Written by Eddie Ferranti – June 5, 2020

30 years is a long time.  It is almost as long as it has been for McGonigels Mucky Duck to open its doors to live music again in Houston.  Seriously the Duck celebrated their 30th anniversary on June 1, 2020.  This is quite an accomplishment in the world of live music venues especially in this day and age of COVID hysteria.  Houston favorite , Mike Stinson, hit the stage along with his guitar stud, Lance Smith, and tore it up.  We have been following him since way back when he landed in H-Town and actually played at the Houston Railroad Museum.  Stinson dusted off some oldies, popped in some newbies, and injected his dry hilarious sense of humor into the two hour set!

The Dynamic Duo busted out with “House Burned Down” and Smith scorching early on “Houseboy” to get the sold out show’s attention!  “Lost Side of Town” fit well with today’s world plus a new one I’m guessing is titled “Government Work”.  Talk about a tongue-in-cheek machine gun fire rip job of the current state of affairs in DC.  Stinson said some comments that have stayed with me since the gig. Gems like: “Well I guess if you are not sick and no bricks in your window you are okay.  Gotta just work up from there….”  Or how about : “Only droplets allowed on this stage tonight are Makers Mark.  Coughing section is in the back!”  This dude has the market cornered on good satire mixed with heartfelt head scratching lyrics. Backed by whom he alludes to as The Love Man, Baby Duck Smith, delivers with shredding rock complete with guitar face galore!  Others that caught our attention big time were “Rattling My Cage”, “Late For My Funeral”, tender badass “Square With The World”, and “Come In Out of the Rain”.

If you think it was getting close to an end you have never seen Stinson play.  Both kicked it up a notch for “Might Have To Do It”, blistering “Cadillac”, 2020 rat now tune “No One To Drink With Any More”, and an OH-so-true “So Busy All The Time”!  This was a really good return to live music in a cool club. The Duck did a great job of spacing people out and everybody did the mask thing when needed.  Full menu, too was awesome.  Cudos to all involved.  By the time Mike and Lance ripped up “Fast and Loose”, requested “Make It Stop”, and of course “City I Love” this gathering of music starved fans applauded big time.  It almost made you feel like maybe we were moving in the right direction…………This act will be BACK here on July 3.  It would be cool to give him another sold out gig……… God bless everybody out there in music limbo.  SUPPORT musicians and good clubs like this one please.  You can order food that the Duck sends to the front liners fighting COVID.  Check their website for details.  Peace!