"Greyhounds... like the dog, but with an S." A little late night clarification, I suppose, from Andrew Trube, guitar ace and frontman, in his typical humorous fashion. I can't help but laugh at just about every subtle crack this cat comes off with. Andrew, on a roll, continues with a trailer park joke in introducing drum extroirdanaire Nick Pencis. The two, both from Tyler, Texas, share a friendship that cuts more than a little slack for moderately embarrassing moments in front of rooms full of people. Keyboard wizard Anthony Farrel is by no means immune, often finding himself in the crossfire of lovable jest. Thus is the personality of the Greyhounds. A band that wears its heart on its sleeve while playing some of the thickest, grooviest music imaginable.

Ever since a magickal Monday night in September, Santa Barbara music lovers had been anxiously awaiting the return of the Greyhounds. The intrepid trio triumphantly returned last night, Sunday 1/20 at SOHO, an intimate 200 person club. I was a little bit concerned at first as I learned that both Andrew and Nick were sick. Andrew mentioned that he wouldn't be singing at all and I hoped they would have the energy to pull off a good show. These two proved to be like Michael Jordan in the finals, getting stronger and stronger as they went along. Fueled by organic juice and a lot of love from the SoHo crowd, the Greyhounds immediately started doing their thing, reminding us why we missed them so much.

The sound in the room was perfect and before long the dance floor was packed with bodies interpreting the infectious Ghound Funk in freeform fashion. Nick set up his drum kit at an angle so he and Anthony were forced to stare at each other throughout the show (Nick also mentioned that it was an excuse for him not to be blinded by the lights shining off of Andrew's bald head). Anthony performs the phenomenal feat of playing bass on his keyboard, so I guess they were just accentuating the importance of a locked-in rhythm section. Anthony is so fun to watch, making ferocious faces as he continuously defies logic on his Rhodes. He is such a humble cat, but once he's up there onstage, there's no mercy... And we still can't figure out how the hell he maintains that relentless, growling bassline. Nick is pure precision from start to finish, with cowboy hat and calm cool, hitting bullseyes like a Texan Robin Hood. These two rhythm maestros bob and weave like a pair of seahorses in heat.

The Greyhounds' sound can be compared to other bands, mostly old school funk, but it is definitely its own special breed. They create this amazing sensation where the listener finds themselves instantly immersed in a multilayered groove that surges forward like a molasses-encrusted cheetah. The effect is a forceful one, however still maintaining a very classy, delicate touch. I was impressed at how they've fine tuned their approach since September. The jams were so tight, the interplay so concise and the nuances danced around every corner like crickets in July. I knew Andrew was a good guitarist, but not this good. I found myself playing air guitar a few times like I would to mimic Trey during "Moma." He busts out several unique effects, most notably a technique that sounds like a record scratching. And when he wants to, lets it rip in full rock 'n roll, guitar-hero style.

I don't know the names of any of the songs the Greyhounds played except for a brilliant interpretation they did for the theme song from the TV show "Barney Miller." It was a gas. I felt so refreshed after dancing to these guys for a few hours, and by the looks of all the smiles in the room, the feeling was unanimous. The Greyhounds are just beginning a long tour so hopefully you'll have a chance to check them out. This Wednesday, 1/23, they'll be playing at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco so tell your friends or check them out if you live in the Bay. With a foundation this rock solid, and three hearts of gold, sky's the limit!

Full Speed Ahead,
Tyler Blue
JamBase Santa Barbara Correspondent
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 1/22/02]

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