Saturday, June 22
I don’t remember Judah Bauer being that sexy the last time he played at Dick’s on Dicks with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. But maybe that’s the point of Twenty Miles—a chance for Bauer to kick out his own carnal knowledge of the blues.
Looking like he had a total rock ‘n’ roll makeover, Bauer had traded in his geek chic Buddy Holly glasses for a more ‘70s “Rhinestone Cowboy” look with vintage bronco-buster boots and a floral ranchero shirt. A break from Spencer, (even if it only temporary), is definitely working for him. Hell, even Keith needs a little time away from Mick.
Music? Oh yah, about the music. Well, lets see…he rocked! Though, at times he seemed a little self-conscious as the front man of his own three-piece—this despite (or maybe in spite of) having his own private dancer up front, who was of the ruby-haired-beauty persuasion.
For the most part, his banter was inaudible ramblings, but I did manage to make out something about sleep-deprivation, which makes sense considering both JPBX and Twenty Miles put out a new album this year. Regardless of being tired from the rigors of rock and tongue-tied from nerves, his almost slippery smooth guitar playing combined with his rough-around-the-edges singing voice made for a perfectly imperfect show.
For those who arrived early, the opening act was an added bonus. Matt Walker from Down Under played some very soulful lap slide guitar with Bauer’s brother, Donovan, on drums. Walker would later become integral part of the Twenty Miles’ set, as Bauer kept calling him back up on stage. Walker rounded off songs like “Only One,” lending an even more swampy southern feel to Bauer’s sound.
Another reason the Twenty Miles Review was such a success was the change in scenery. I had no idea The Railway Club served any greater purpose other than last call. All this time I thought the small darkly cloaked space up-front was used for puppetry rehearsals. Such is not the case. The cruise ship layout actually worked out nicely for everyone. The regulars, who were disappointed that Big John Bates would not be performing, could retire on the outside deck. While others spilling out from various venues could unwind in the back, leaving those of us who love all things Bauer to enjoy the show.
After his set, the hapless Judah had to boot it out of The Railway, without getting to know his mystery lady with the crimson locks. The poor sod had to return to his tedious day job as a rich, sexy New York rock star. Gotta pay the bills somehow. While that may not be something the average working stiff can relate to, surely Keith can identify. Yes, in the end, it always comes back to The Stones.