Monday, January 8, 2018

Legendary Shack Shakers guitarist Rod Hamdallah struts his own stuff, Jim Ivy's latest weirdness as DJ Mezcalculation

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 11:08 AM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Rod Hamdallah, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers, the Woolly Bushmen and DJ Mezcalculation, Will’s Pub, Jan. 5
click to enlarge Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub
The concert calendars usually go into deep freeze around the holidays, but for us the weather actually followed suit this year. This bill anchored by hometown heroes the Woolly Bushmen was probably the first real thaw in the live action, and it turned out to be a show hot enough to melt the glacier that us Southerners call the apocalypse that is sub-40s temperatures. While the mercury nosedived outside, the inverse happened inside.
click to enlarge Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub
An especially noteworthy addition to the lineup was Atlanta’s Rod Hamdallah. Although not a household name himself, he’s the guitarist for the Legendary Shack Shakers, one of the greatest American acts of this century. And though that’s primarily due to the electricity of Southern gothic visionary J.D. Wilkes, the fact that an icon of his stature has tapped Hamdallah to ride shotgun in multiple bands (The Shack Shakers and the Dirt Daubers) is a credential to be taken seriously.
click to enlarge Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Rod Hamdallah at Will's Pub
With his trio, Hamdallah finally came to take center stage himself and showcase his own material. It’s an economical sound woven from the sinews of blues, punk and primal rock & roll. Through its veins courses the same kind of jacked neo-traditionalist blood that juices the Black Keys and Hanni El Khatib. With arrangements that were sturdy and lean but not basic, his band’s performance was a straight and bracing shot of raw rock & roll that shows how little embellishment is needed when you do it right.
click to enlarge Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub
Sharing the bill were Tampa Bay rockers Johnny Mile and the Kilometers. Drawing directly on the heritage of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, they, too, carry the original torch of rock & roll with fidelity and pride.
click to enlarge Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub
They’re not the most dialed-in band around but they’ve got some good influences and are just shambolic enough to let you know which side of the tracks they’re coming from.
click to enlarge Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Johnny Mile & the Kilometers at Will's Pub
What distinguishes them from others of their ilk, however, is bass player Chris Cardone (who also plays in St. Pete standouts Sonic Graffiti). When given the latitude to flex, he’s an astonishingly expressive rock bassist, proving capable of both leads and solos without devolving into any funk daftness.
click to enlarge DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub
Stitching the night together with flair, however, was DJ Mezcalculation and his Atrocity Jukebox, the most distinctive DJ setup (and getup) around. No regular turntable jock, it’s actually accomplished local musician and mover Jim Ivy (Obliterati, Tangled Bell Ensemble, the Delusionaires, Civic Minded 5 and so on) and probably the best DJ booth I’ve seen in a long while.
click to enlarge DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub
click to enlarge DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub
Whatever his sweet parlor setup gives up to a pair of 1200s in terms of pure action and utility, his vintage gear, case of 45s and, oh yeah, dope turban more than make up for in patina and style. Befitting his repute for being both erudite and strange, he spun a set that was swinging, wild and weird. More than just good songs, it was true immersion. And from the looks and sounds of it, he could equally command a stag party or a sweat lodge.
click to enlarge DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • DJ Mezcalculation and His Atrocity Jukebox at Will's Pub
The show was also the kickoff for the West Coast tour run of Orlando’s the Woolly Bushmen. Go spread the gospel, boys.

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com


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