As expected, the funkiest spot in Chicago last Saturday night was down at the Boulevard Cafe with a great SoCal double bill featuring Giant People and Greyhounds. The show was sold out just minutes after Greyhounds fired up their first tune, a rendition of Jimmy Smith's "Root Down" around 11:00pm. Front man Andrew Trube worked the crowd with his funky guitar work and hilarious wise cracks between songs and sometimes right in the middle of a funky throw down. Anthony Farrell laid down some tasty finger work on the Rhodes and Hammond and it was definitely a lot of fun to watch this guy play. Greyhounds' newest addition, drummer Nick Pencis, had no trouble sticking in his pocket with some low-end glue from bassist Jay McHenry.

All in all, a great but short set by Greyhounds. These guys are constantly on the road and it would be a treat to see them play a full night. John from the Boulevard mentioned that a two night stand with Greyhounds is in the works for August. Let's all hope that comes together because it seemed like the guys were just getting warmed up when they had to wrap it up around midnight. Greyhounds are definitely a group that will be fun to see grow in Chicago (and everywhere else)!

Giant People hit the stage around 12:30 and front man/trumpet player Carlos Washington had no trouble getting the eager crowd to pump their fists and wave their hands as they moved through a very funky first set. Giant People proceeded to throw down and got the crowd extra sweaty with a cover of Karl Denson's "Dirty Dirty" and later on with their own tune "What the Funk?". Drummer John Staten and legendary cuban bass player Ignacio Arango could have played all night by themselves and kept the crowd gyrating. Those guys are real tight! Anthony Smith helped out on vocals when he wasn't adding some meat and potatoes to the already fat sound with his jazzy piano chops.

Carlos, formerly with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, is definitely a super bad mofo on the three valve. His trumpet playing is filled with super soul and his passion for the instrument is obvious. Giant People took a small set break and we're back to shake the Boulevard until 3:00am! Greyhounds' key-man Anthony Farrell joined Giant People for the last four tunes and his funky finger work on the organ was definitely appreciated by the crowd, which was still looming despite the fact that the Boulevard Cafe closed at 2:00! A great double bill and an amazing night at the Boulevard.

Both bands are on the road all summer and both are also featured on a Music Blitz compilation CD, JAMS | Vol 1: Don't Call Us Jambands that has some really great tunes and some incredible bands like: Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Stanton Moore, The Motet, Sugarman 3, and others. Heads up people, these are two groups that are going to make something happen. Catch them as soon as you can!

Mikah Carlisle

[Published on: 6/13/01]

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