This past Thursday we shared a bill will the Mumblin Owls at the Viking Bar. We loaded up our gear and arrived a little after 7:30. We parked in the alley, threw our flashers on and carried our gear inside. There was a band on stage: upright bass, fiddle, the whole works. The Mumblin Owls were drinking band beers in the back of the place when we arrived. As entertainment goes, The Mumblin Owls didn’t go on until 8:30 and we knew our set time would be pushed back as well.
The Mumblin Owls were a three piece on Thursday and a little leaner than I have seen them in the past. They have a female pianist/vocalist and a cajon (with kick pedal) vocalist that share leads and harmonies. They also have an acoustic guitar player who will sing, stomp and clap away behind them. The band can pull off some beautiful harmonies. It’s these harmonies accompanied by their quality songwriting that originally drew me to the band.
About a year ago, I was searching the Reverbnation folk charts in the local area for bands we could possibly share a bill with. I was, and maybe still am, drawn to band names with birds in them. I found the Mumblin Owls and went to see them at the Underground Music Café at what turned out to be their bassists last show with them before he moved away. It was a dramatic and grand introduction to The Mumblin Owls live performance dynamic.
They have yet to replace their bassist, but they still bring such a warm and joyous approach to folk music. They can go from minimalistic ballad to an all hands on deck, with the crowd into it, foot stomper without missing a beat. It was a thrill to finally share the stage with them and we hope to do it again.
We started our set a couple minutes after 10 pm. Liz was sick and I was getting over a head cold. Liz showed up at the Viking Bar, but wasn’t sure if she could sing. At show time she made the call. We missed her on stage, but sometimes it’s best just to get healthy. We knew we had some time on stage so we played thirteen songs. There wasn’t a whole lot of room on stage either, but we’ve got to learn to be agile. In the middle of the set Dave broke a string and quickly switched guitars and jumped back on stage. We played a solid set in front of a very sparse crowd. At the end of the show, one older gentleman came up to the stage and asked us what our band name was again. He said he had started walking home three times and our music kept drawing him back. We thanked him and he said we deserved a bigger crowd.
“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” – Pope Paul VI