Shotgun House

The Apple Barrel

April 19, 2004

Vocalist/guitarist Frankie King has been at it in New Orleans since 1979. He played electric guitar back in the day, but everyone was playing electric, so King started using an acoustic.

"It has a more abrasive effect on the audience," King said after Shotgun House finished their first set at The Apple Barrel Monday night. Bassist Markko Roxx was King's only accompaniment onstage. The band made less into more with their pleasing grooves and flawless execution.

Shotgun House turned out covers, some of them Robert Johnson numbers and Texas twangy roots rock songs. They hit a punk tempo or slowed it down real nice for dramatic blues rests. They swung in their own special way. Roxx put just enough color in his playing to keep his pace right above a walking bass, or he threw Tabasco all over and plucked real low on his fret to draw attention to himself. King was a good guitar player, he had a capable voice, and he had the right look: slicked-back hair.

Even though the band stayed in the pocket without a beat, the lack of one pushed the audience to produce their own percussion. People slapped the bar top, tabletops, and their legs. Don't think the band didn't hear that to keep a beat with.

The crowd applauded loudly after every song, and their tip jar slowly but surely filled up. Without drums the band's musical emphasis was on the notes, melodies, and progressions.

Shotgun House's chill pill was really headstrong.

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