Michael Hurtt and His Haunted Hearts(Pt. 2)

The Circle Bar

April 14, 2005

The stars weren't aligned the last time I saw Michael Hurtt and His Haunted Hearts play The Circle Bar. I was burnt out and angry the band started late. This site doesn't have a corrections section, so I apologize. It was irresponsible of me to come into the review with a bad attitude. I sat there with malignant armor on, saying without words--"Show me something." That's not where the band was at. They were laid back--maybe a little too laid back--and they were taking their time settling into the set and making sure their sound was correct. If you read the last review, you'll see that's a pet peeve, and that's where the train wreck of a review began.

If the stars weren't aligned last time, they were in perfect formation at The Circle Bar Thursday night. Michael Hurtt and His Haunted Hearts played enjoyable rockabilly that swung from the folk tree. Honky-tonk. Call it what I will, they played music with the swagger and rhythm of rock. Throw in the twang and downtrodden yet strangely peaceful feel of country, and that's a good place to start.

The Haunted Hearts didn't have drums, but with a regularly plucked upright bass that kept the tempo and produced a pearcing push, the band didn't need a drumkit. The Haunted Hearts played foot-stompers, mid-tempoed drifters, and slow dance numbers. Actually, almost all of their stuff was danceable in one way or another. It was no surprise, then, that the band got a few dancers up to boogie. The Haunted Hearts got a decent crowd. Not too crowded. Just right.

The band didn't have any sound concerns this time. They breezed through the first and second sets with confidence and an easy-going attitude. "C'mon, boys..." Hurtt encouraged the band as every member aligned into a rave-up.

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