Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday August 22nd - Cliff Wagner & the Old No. 7 - Cinema Bar - Culver City, CA
Cliff Wagner and the Old No 7 are always entertaining to watch - individually they are all top notch musicians and that alone would be worth it - even if their collective effort was only mediocre. But the cool thing is collectively the sums add up to a Whole that is better than all the parts - Marrying Mandolin with banjo and acoustic guitar with a driving stand up bass is great.... now drop in vocals that stand alone and harmonize and things start to really take shape. As an acoustic outfit a lot of nuances are added by stepping closer or further away from the microphone, filling the small confines of the Cinema Bar with many layers.
My history with Cliff and the Old No 7 goes back almost 10 years - Cliff turned me on to Bluegrass Music - a genre I had heard before but never paid much attention too. After drifting away a few years later it was Cliff who once again brought me and lots of other people back to Blue Grass music. The Band landed a spot on a show on Fox called the Next Great American Band. I was working on my computer with the TV on in the background - when going into a commercial I saw " Coming up next Cliff Wagner & the old No. 7". Out of over 10,000 entrants Cliff and the Boys went on to #4 and gained a quick glint of popularity. Their renditions of Bob Dylan and Elton John classics stole the show - however the Hillbillies had no chance with the 3 Jonas Brothersesque - Clark Bros charming the judges and the teenage girls who called in to vote.
It's very fitting that Cliff was one of the last shows of the 30 Shows in 60 days tour - I was lucky enough to shoot the Cover for his upcoming CD, and our photoshoot took place in the early days of the Tour - same day as the Tubes Show at Brixton.
If you haven't seen Cliff perform - do yourself a favor and mosey down to the Cinema Bar on a Sunday Night. They are usually there every Sun from 7pm - 9pm.