It was a Thursday night. Venus and Neptune, planets of love and magic, were aligned in the sky, and four bands descended upon the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Those of us who found our way downstairs to the Dirk Quinn Band‘s CD Release of Live at Home, received a full-body orgasm of the highest degree. DQB was joined by Flux Capacitor, LP Stiles, and Good Lovin’ Jam Band—and with them, a room filled with lovers, seekers, and life-long freakers.
GLJB, a Grateful Dead band with Dan Dolla, Brian Reppert, Jon Hoernig, Cory Heller, and Matt Cullen, started off the show with “Feel Like a Stranger”, which floated strong and filled the air with the comforting feeling you were in the right place at the right time. They rolled forward with “Foolish Heart”, an ascending tune that can lift just about anyone into a smile and shimmy-shake. The keys were delicate, yet steady and inspired with special help from Michael Borowski, keyboardist for the Dirk Quinn Band, and also for Splintered Sunlight. Mikey B, as he’s known by many, did a real mean and funky “Hey Pockey Way” with stout and smokey vocals that rippled through the room.
The second set was a jazz-funk-souljolt to behold: LP Stiles, which consisted of bassist Clay Stiles, guitarist Todd Pritchard, percussionist Marcus Myers, and saxophonist Max Swan (also on DQB’s Live at Home), with guest emcee Myke Storm. And let me tell you something: This kid Max is off the hook! Swan blew like a wind storm—body jittering, lungs pulsating—while Myers threw down on the drums, built upon Stiles’ and Pritchard’s brick-lined bass and guitar. Keep an eye on these fellas, for sure.
Next up, to get FLUXED UP, The Brothers Specht (Pete, Mike, and Jason)! When you see the flashing of Pete Specht’s cherry red Fender Telecaster, the dreads of Mike Specht flailing through the air, and the arms of Jason Specht furiously fighting, you’re about to travel, DeLorean-style, through multiple musical dimensions. They rocked “ATF” (from They Know We Know) so hard, hippies were raging and smashing their LED sticks on the floor! (Luckily, someone picked up the pieces as there were bare footed dancers.) If you live and breathe rock and haven’t seen these guys—call me, I’m DTF (Down to Flux). You can vote for them as Best Jam Band in the Tri State Indie Music Awards. They jammed supreme with songs from their recent release: “Wake Yourself”and “Monolith”, the title track from their latest album. Stay tuned for the album review.
Now, let’s set the stage for the men of the hour—the five gentlemen of the Dirk Quinn Band. What began with a Run DMC “Christmas in Hollis” tease before “O.U.R. (A Short One)”, ended with an “Escalator” of funk so sticky, that it can only be savored “Live at Home” in the presence of the DQB. If you ask me, these guys don’t belong in a studio—they belong in front of people, feeding on the masses in an extroverted, reciprocal exorcism. And no one can escape the chromatic wingspan of the “Evil Birdman of Funk”. What is funk? Funk is when white boys who can’t breakdance, start breakdancing on the floor like they’ve invented the damn thing—spasming uncontrollably. Funk is when pretty girls, like yours truly, make the stinkyface because the facial muscles are forced to contract from arousal and soul-splitting eargasm. Funk is “Davel’s Return” with Kenny Ulansey on soprano sax with a little “Fire on the Mountain” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
When Dirk Quinn makes the stinkyface, he’s violating the strings of his Goldenwood Gibson ES-446 and the scent of her release is intoxicating. Behind the closed eyes of bassist Stephen Kurtz burns a rhythmic abyss, swimming on the curves of his 5-string, Ken Smith CR. Max the Sax Swan wails on alto and EWI with his right leg kicking and his ankle twitching like a grasshopper. With Steve Zegray switching meter on the drums, be ready to change up your dance moves. Unlike his band mates, Steve doesn’t assign female gender to his instrument, and for good reason—the way he wallops, I’d have to file a complaint for assault. Towards the end of the show, Zegray spit a salivary trajectory, intended to fan the flames on the keyboard of Keymaster Michael Borowski. Operating on two tiers of ebony and ivory bliss—a Roland Fantom G8 and Hammond XK3—Borowski orchestrated a Copeland-style “Hoedown” with electric fingers AND feet, executing a spectrum of chords with a fever, emitting heat that will melt your face and any underclothes you might be wearing. Ladies, take a number…
Click here for the album review of the Dirk Quinn Band’s “Live At Home” and stay tuned for the review of Flux Capacitor’s “Monolith”. See below for additional photos of the bands and visit Kevin High Photography at kevinhighphotography.com for a slideshow and complete music gallery. Live recordings are available on archive.org of Dirk Quinn Band, Flux Capacitor, and Good Lovin’ Jam Band.
Photos: Dirk Quinn Band
Photos: Flux Capacitor
Photos: LP Stiles