Rounding the Bases for Home - The Baseball Project, Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 and Marah close out Twangfest [Live Review for KDHX]
Twangfest slid safely into the wet dirt around home plate Saturday night as The Baseball Project, Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 and Marah finished up the four-day festival celebrating Americana music hosted in St. Louis by 88.1 KDHX. First, read my full review of the night's festivities at The Duck Room last night on the KDHX blog.
So, I was standing at bar with fellow 3 Minute Record contributor Bart Darnell. I walk away & towards other side of the room to get a different view. Down the stairs from Blueberry Hill walks Mike Mills. I pull a 180 to follow & they stop right next to Bart. Mills stands there for twenty minutes or more just watching the opener Marah blending into the crowd with a black Tony Clifton (Thanks Rob Goeggel) t-shirt and Quad Cities River Bandits (St. Louis Cardinals minor league) hat on. We leave him be and give him room. That's how people roll in St. Louis.
Marah finishes their set and my other buddy Rob gets up the courage to shake his hand and say he's a big fan. Then, Bart starts talking about the hat and asks questions about Quad Cities. I ask if they did a show there and he confirms. He's nice and talks a bit more and heads to the bar for another beer. Later, during the set by Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Mills is off to stage right standing right next to another acquaintance of mine. I take this opportunity to go over and hang nearby. Wynn is burning the house down with his set, and I lean into Mills during a lull and say, "It's a good thing he's playing with you guys next." He deadpans, "Oh yeah? Why?" I reply, "Because he's killing it up there!" He gets a smile on his face and says, "You're right. He is."
That's all I said. I didn't mention anything about how I've loved R.E.M. for the past 25 years or something about their new album instead I gave a compliment to one his longtime friends on stage who was playing a killer set.
After that I talk to Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5, R.E.M. Live) and introduce myself and also talk about Wynn and then tell him I have a blog and ask him about an interview which he agrees (though emphasizes it would not be tonight) giving me contact info at the record label. After the show I chat with Linda Pitmon (drummer from Miracle 3 and Baseball Project) about the show, blog, interview and meeting baseball players. What a cool night!!
Other notes: Near the end of Wynn’s set, I moved closer to where Baseball Project singer/guitarist Scott McCaughey was standing asking him if Wynn & the Miracle 3 had been playing other dates on the Baseball Project tour. McCaughey advised this is the only date they had played together advising that Wynn had turned him down when McCaughey asked Wynn the Miracle 3 would play last. Wynn and company certainly set a high bar for the evening.
Heard: During the encore McCaughey hinted that Mike Mills had a solo album in the works to which the R.E.M. bassist did not deny, but rather deferred to not working on yet. Stay tuned.
Here's a minute and a half glimpse of what could have been if Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) had dropped in for "Don't Call Them Twinkies" like he did on the LP.
The Baseball Project - (Don't Go Back To) Rockville
Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 - Amphetamine (Live)
Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 - John Coltrane Stereo Blues (Live)
Marah - Valley Farm Song (Live)