June 25, 2004
Need slide guitar blues mastery with foot stompin' fervor? Got you covered. Need a psychedelic, depressing slow country song about wanting your lover dead? Got you covered. Need a groovin', upbeat rock song about the small things that make up a good life? The Stumpknockers have still got you covered.
Vocalist/guitarist/harmonica player Grayson Capps and a drummer, bassist and lead guitarist showed off their multi-faceted style Friday night at Lounge Lizards. Whatever genres they were bastardizing, there was always a tight groove underneath it. The bassist was smiling and swaying to the beat throughout the set.
The Stumpknockers played covers that were thematically heavy. This came with the country/blues territory. The music was raw. No special effects. Maybe some distortion on a nice lead guitar solo. Capps' enjoyable, earnest vocal delivery was confrontational and confident.
The band reminded me of Cracker at points, especially when the drummer brought out his mallets for the afformentioned depressing song. This was the tortured song—creepy and low-down. After the song ended, an audience member requested a love song to balance out the set. Capps went right into a song that sounded anything but lovey-dovey. Afterwards, he said, "That was kind of a love song." The lead guitarist smiled and said, "Yeah, I love you dead."
The band had a decent audience for a 7 p.m. show, and their tip jug filled as more and more people dropped money. People were probably realizing, as I was, that these guys were talented.
The Stumpknockers were a great roots rock band. I was impressed.