Like many, I’m not going to miss 2016. It was a savage year, and many of us had our doubts about surviving it.
But survive we did, and Sunday I hooked up with my KTCU/88.7 FM radio show co-host Tom Urquhart and headed out to Magnolia Motor Lounge to see some of Funkytown’s most formidable singer-songwriters for the 2nd Annual Hangover Recovery show.
Most of the Seventh Street corridor was dead, but the Motor Lounge parking lot was full. We made our way indoors and grabbed a table in front of the stage while Stefan Prigmore belted out some songs. The man has a rough, country-folk singer’s voice and an engaging personality. A Prigmore performance would be a great way to start any year on its own.
When Prigmore finished, he passed the metaphorical conch to singer-songwriter Garrett Owen. Owen is a more modern, polished kind of singer — there’s a lot of Paul Simon in his voice and delivery and a lot of precision and flash in his finger-picked guitar. He started his set with Sad Eyed Son, and I loved seeing him perform it live. His originals tell a story of pain and sadness and his delivery was masterful.
Up next we had Jake Robison. I’m not sure how I’ve missed this guy, but I’m glad I finally got a chance to see him perform. Great voice, great playing and not as emotionally dark as Owen.
Each performance of the night was a different varietal of folk singer, and the room was divided between the hardcore listeners and the loud drunks at the bar who didn’t seem to notice the magic that was taking place. The staff of the Motor Lounge kept the whole thing running smoothly, however, with table service, excellent food and sound run by local music icon D. Anson Brody. Every time I come to this place, I wonder why I don’t make it here more often. You won’t have a bad time here.
Up next we had Greg Schroeder, who took this thing electric and played a more traditional slide blues set. I’ve always been a fan of slide, and Schroeder is a master of the craft. His vocals were powerful and his guitar tastefully distorted and raw.
As we left for the night, the mighty Kevin Aldridge was taking the stage. Always a pleasure to see Aldridge play, and I really wished I could stay for the rest of his set.
If I ever leave the Fort, it’s shows like this with talent like this that I will miss. If you love music, you owe it to yourself to seek out these men and see them perform.