Twice before now, I have tried to come up with a way of describing The Beagles‘ live show but a concert review in the conventional sense just does not seem to suffice for these guys. On January 24, 2012 at 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grille, the trio’s set impressed, surprised, charmed and amused the audience with their mix of country, rock and sarcasm.
A run-down of the evening’s happenings…
6.26 pm – Kicking off with a quite stomping version of ‘Screen Door Blues’ to get the crowd’s attention.
6.30 pm – “We are The Beagles. We started a year ago a week from today. Um, does that make sense?” So few things about The Beagles do, Ward… Their unique take on marital bliss, ‘Wake Up Mama,’ follows. Its punchline never fails to make people smile. That’s how you create new fans.
6.34 pm – A serious note is struck on ‘Lonely Sounds Alright.’ You know those songs which seem to get better each time you hear them? This is one of those.
6.38 pm – “Obviously we did not write this one” introduces the 1975 Sammy Johns hit ‘Chevy Van,’ performed with such super-tight harmonies that, the original aside, you might not find a better version.
6.40 pm – I wish I could insert a laugh track here. I can’t see a single person who isn’t giggling right now. You see, it’s the incessant banter between the band members, currently picking on drummer Nick, which makes these shows so hard to describe.
6.42 pm – ‘Leavin’ Comin” switches lead vocal duties between all three Beagles and leaves you wondering how, with three such different voices, they create such perfect harmonies. Beagles magic!
6.45 pm – Having three guitar players on stage means needing time to switch instruments or re-tune between songs. When that takes a while, Matt Nolen‘s prompt to Davis to say something funny leaves the latter to confess: “I don’t know any jokes… Well, I do…but they’re all dirty.” The crowd easily believes him.
6.46 pm – My current favorite Beagles tune – ‘Kiss You.’ If you want to hear about how that song was written, go ask Huck. Apparently he has all the details!
6.50 pm – When you spend any kind of time with songwriters, you know that about a quarter of everything you say might end up in a song. Recalling a writers’ night where Ray Scott only briefly saw Matt and later told him “it was great to see you…leave”, formed the basis for ‘Leave.’
6.54 pm – The reason Ward Davis is so entertaining is because he straight-faced, and without a hint of irony, says stuff like this: “In all seriousness, we got together to goof off.” You don’t say…
6.55 pm – And the above comment is evident. These shows are so much fun! ‘Nobody Does it Like You’ contributes to this. Rarely is a dose of sarcasm delivered in such an enchanting way.
6.59 pm – I would take more issue with ‘Won’t Slow Down’ but it’s just such a beautiful song. Those harmonies!
7.04 pm – The following introduction by Nolen, “There is a lot of up-tempo songs out there, but sometimes an artist has to express himself more seriously”, preceded a song called ‘Naked.’ It’s real serious stuff, people. I mean, there’s an accordion and everything! (shout out to Scott Harris for adding the accordion)
7.09 pm – The set ends with ‘Beagle Tonight.’ I still can’t describe that one. If you want to know, come hang out with The Beagles.
Go visit The Beagles facebook page to be kept in the loop about their upcoming performances. Believe me, this isn’t a Jedi mind trick, you want to see this show!