Saturday I did something positively uncharacteristic. No, I’m totally joshing you — I went out to see some bands, obviously. The Crosstown Country Allstars and The Porchistas were playing at the Lamp Post. It had been a long work day so I was looking forward to rocking out with some old friends. As I entered two members of the Porchistas greeted me and we had a drink as the Crosstown Country Allstars were starting up.
Dave “Ace” Case, Ken “Tampa” Trotta, “The Kolonel” Bill Henry and Rodney Azagra make up the core members of the Allstars with honorary members orbiting around town. Ace (guitar/vocals) is a consummate entertainer. The banter between him and Ken Trotta is so on point in between songs you’d think it was rehearsed — but it’s just the Country persona these fellows don with they take the stage. Bill Henry plays the role of the the straight man well. Also, if a keyboardist for a country band can be said to “shred,” then consider The Kolonel’s keyboard to be in several neat strips by the end of each show. All the while, Rodney throws down a classic honky-tonk beat. He even ops for paint stirrer instead of drum sticks from time to time. These guys are as good at getting a laugh out of the crowd as they are getting your feet stomping and hands clapping.
Crosstown Country Allstars: Tiny Bubbles
Next up, the Porchistas took the stage (joined by Ace Case on the first song). Hailing from Montclair and weighing in collectively under 600 lbs, Deivis Garcia (quarto/vox) Alan Smith (guitar/vox) and Adam Falzer (guitar/vox) are making folk-rock cool again. Songs like “Waddlin’ Fool” and “Salsa y Ketchup” are quickly becoming local sagas. Their patented style of dance folk is, in the end, hard to deny. Even normally tames crowd are powerless against the rock. The proof is in this video of their encore (see below) — a song called “Starboard Port.” Make sure you keep on the lookout for these cats, they're guaranteed to be playing the local area (or Montclair) again real soon.
The Porchistas: Salsa y Ketchup and Starboard Port