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Concert Review: Luke Wade and No Civilians at Magnolia Motor Lounge

Luke Wade and No Civilians Magnolia Motor Lounge 3005 Morton St Fort Worth 817-332-3344 http://magnoliamotorlounge.com/

Posted 7:41am on Monday, Apr. 01, 2013

It’s been a while since I made a trip out to Magnolia Motor Lounge, and I’ve missed it. The place has good sound, good food, and I’ve always gotten good service. When I found out Luke Wade was playing there on Saturday, I had to check it out.

I got there a little before 10, and sat down near the stage. A waitress finally noticed me and asked for my order 30 minutes later. And then informed me the kitchen closed 20 minutes prior to that. No chicken fried bacon (one of their specialties) for me. Next time I’ll get there earlier and send up a flare or something.

No matter, Sean Russell was taking the stage, and music is where it’s at. The band consists of Jacob Martinez (bass), Taylor Tatsch (guitar), Shance Brentham (drums), and Sean Russell (vocals, guitar).

This was singer/songwriter act, at times a bit country, with a first-rate backing band. I hadn’t seen Jacob since he played for My Wooden Leg, and his bass work is always rock steady. Sean’s songs ranged from folk to rock to country, and when he wasn’t singing with an affected country accent, his vocals were excellent. Normally, this would be a headlining act.

But Luke Wade and No Civilians was up next, and while Luke is always a pleasure to see perform solo, his full band performances are something special. There was Luke (guitar, vocals), his brother David Wade (sax, flute), Paul Jenkins (bass), Chris Glenn (drums), and Justin Barbee took time off from his touring with Casey James to sit in (trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboard).

Luke Wade is one of Funkytown’s premier talents. His songs are emotive, romantic, often embarrassingly intimate, and his vocals and musicianship are flawless. He has a certain melancholic Paul Simon quality that really sets him apart from most of the traditional Fort Worth songwriters.

Luke gave us a long set, of mostly original material, plus covers such as Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney), Roxanne (The Police), Rich Girl (Hall & Oates), and Late In the Evening (Paul Simon). OK, most of Late in the Evening; Luke forgot a verse or two.

While his band took a break, Luke stayed on stage and played solo. Occasionally, his brother would pick up his sax and jump in. Then the band came back on. At the end of the set, the band started breaking down. But the crowd at Magnolia wasn’t ready to stop yet and demand an encore. Luke, once again, kept playing solo, and then was joined by the rest of the band for another six or seven songs. There was a crowd of women in front of the stage demanding more up until the very end.

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