on deck: the potomac bombs at red palace, 1.13.12

11 Jan

As much as I love DC music, there was a time when I felt something was seriously missing from my DC music world: a favorite local bluegrass band.

I’d gone to shows to check the scene and heard some great Willie Nelson covers along the way, but none of these bands fit the bill. For one, they were all clean shaven. What? Where were all the bearded bards? Second, they all had drummers. Really? Did our creator not bestow feet upon bluegrass musicians for the sole purpose of stomping a beat?

Thankfully, this all changed one glorious weekend in May 2011. As I sat in DuPont Circle, pondering why I couldn’t fill this void, three guys showed up to busk. I saw a mandolin–I was intrigued. I saw a stand-up bass–I was more intrigued. I saw beards and no drum kit– I was sold. By the time this trip launched into a smooth rendition of “Jesus, Etc.” that would have made even the most depressed Jeff Tweedy smile, the Potomac Bombs had gained an enthusiastic new fan.

Since then, I’ve witnessed the Bombs bring the house down many, many times, whether the house is as big as Rock n Roll Hotel or as small as a corner in Eastern Market. I’ve seen them spit in the face of Hurricane Irene by drawing a soaked crowd who battled Category 3 rain, wind, and hail just to attend their show; I’ve seen them inspire an impromptu dance party on an otherwise mellow Thursday night at Acre 121; I’ve seen them climb on tables and chairs on an otherwise mellow Friday night at Big Bear Cafe.

This Friday, the Bombs are back for (possibly) their last big gig in DC at Red Palace. This crowd better be prepared for the sight they will behold: Frank Sturges, a wayward Carolina man destined for the mountains, will float his fingers across his mandolin strings faster than your eyes (or ears) can keep up; Ted Collins, an unlikely scholar who solves economic development problems by day, will be making the DC ladies swoon with juicy basslines and his silky smooth vocals that night; and guitarist Nick Deprey will join forces with Ted for sweeter harmonies than you ever imagined hearing in a Ryan Adams cover. This power trio will play sauced-up covers of bluegrass, American roots, and folk favorites, along with their original blend of Chicago blues and Southern alt-country.

Play the hits. Bring the rage. I know they will.

(Rough cuts from an in-progress EP below)


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