Friday night's concert at McCabe's was a double-header that introduced me to two highly entertaining acts.
The evening opened with a seventy-minute set by Phil Salazar & The Kin Folk, a quintet of graying gentlemen whose musical skills and energy level brought us to our feet. Covering various genres - from traditional bluegrass to western swing to cajun music - their set was very well received by the crowd. With three vocalists and a couple of multi-instrumentalists in the lineup, Phil's band kept things rolling at a high pace, with lots of humorous moments between songs. The band members had plenty of opportunities to strut their stuff via engaging instrumental solos that generated frequent applause.
Phil Salazar - Fiddle, vocals
Tom Corbett - Mandolin, guitar, vocals
Bill Knopf - Banjo, vocals
Bill Flores - Dobro, guitar, accordion
Rick Borella - Bass
|Phil Salazar & The Kin Folk at McCabe's|
Even at first blush, their original compositions sounded good - the one that stood out was Tom Corbett's "Fish To Bite". Their set also included a few covers: Ralph Stanley's "Little Maggie", the classic "St. James Infirmary" and "Swing To Bop", the band's one-song encore.
|Phil Salazar & Bill Flores at McCabe's|
|Tom Corbett & Rick Borella at McCabe's|
|Phil Salazar's set list|
With his idiosyncratic singing style, great voice and outstanding mandolin playing, Scott Gates was a key contributor to the success of the evening. I loved his rendition of "The Parting Glass", which was the first of the trio's two-song encore. Chuck is a good singer as well, I really liked the way he delivered "Chocolate On My Tongue". The band's entire set, about eighty-minutes in all, was exceptionally entertaining and the crowd responded accordingly.
|The Salty Suites at McCabe's|
By the way, the show was either a sellout or very close to being one.
|The Salty Suites & Phil Salazar at McCabe's|
|Scott Gates & Phil Salazar challenging each other at McCabe's|
|The Salty Suites, with Elaine Gregson on accordion|
|Chelsea Williams at McCabe's|
|The Salty Suite's set list|
|The end of the show|
|Chelsea, Chuck & Phil mingling with fans after the show|
|Chelsea Williams meeting fans after the show|
|The stage is ready for the Salty Suites|
|Stage ready for Phil Salazar & The Kin Folk|
|The merch table|
|Concert announcer Brian Rodriguez showing the crowd what to turn off|