Saturday, December 20, 2008

John Meeks, Tobyn Clark and The Tender Faeries@ Whistle Stop 12.14.08

Boy, the Whistle Stop is looking really good these days. I love the tinsel and lights hanging over the bar, the snowflake lights on the back wall, and the tree was littered with presents that night. It has always been a great neighborhood bar, but these little touches make it even more comforting. Well, last Sunday there was a special show that felt like family coming to together to support and send off local musician Tobyn Clark.

The show started off with John Meeks comforting our hearts with his blend of acoustic/country/rock. I have seen him a number of times and have to say the whole band seemed really in-sync with each other, and groove was superb. Brian H. from Blackout Party was playing guitar and back-up vox with Meeks, it was a suprise to me, but he did a great job, and the Civil War General on his guitar is awesome. I had been secretly hoping it was Charles Darwin, but that's my science dork side speaking. It's cool to see heartfelt, honest country music in San Diego. I especially love the song "On The Road Not Again" with lines like "you're never as good as you wanted to be," your soul gets that reflective sorrow that only draws you closer to people you cherish. Before the show, Meeks and I talked about his band hitting the road more, and I hope they do, it's really good stuff.

After Meeks, the bar was really starting to get hopping as Tobyn Clark and the Tender Faeries were setting up. It was their CD release show, as well as farewell show for Tobyn, moving to NorCal. The place was packed and the vibe was great, but made for tough for pics (sorry). It is great to see that kind of enthusiasm on a Sunday night, and I am sure Tobyn was grateful. I am definitely not the very well versed in country, but he had the story telling songs stylings of what to me felt a little like Johnny Cash, but once again I don't really know country. The stories are stark and compliments his vocal style, conjuring up images of Death Valley in black and white, with a dust storm clearing a to reveal a slew lifeless bodies, and a single modern-day desperado smoking a cigarette squinting into the blazing sun. Of course, i have to give some love to the beautiful Tender Faeries, a sweet layer of backing vocals to lay your ears upon. Last but not least, the bass and drummer locked it in for that cool country swing. It was a great CD release and send-off show, San Diego really is a great community of artists and friends, and that show make it very real.
(If you have a better pic of Tobyn Clark from that night, please email it to so I can put a better one. thanks.)

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