Music seen at the Frog + Turtle, January 4, 2008
A Friday night off, and the only place that will satiate my needs for warm comfort food, strong drinks, and well-curated music has unfortunately left the building. Chicky's has been absent for while now, and its absence is still felt by many. Thankfully, the Frog & Turtle is bravely stepping up to the plate and offering all of the above.
Pam Baker & the SGs, Maine’s perpetual blues machine, were holding court in a fairly quiet room. Their acknowledgment of this was greatly appreciated by all: their volume was right on and enjoyable, and they engaged their obviously familiar audience. These are marks of a seasoned band, and their importance cannot be understated. Despite just playing through amps, the trio of bass, guitar, and drums sounded full and served as a great support for Pam’s expectedly gritty testifying.
The SGs are not a band who would describe themselves as “bluesy.” The “y” waters it down too much; they play the blues, period. They approached shuffles, roadhouse blues, Texas swing, and boogie feels with an impressive ease. Mixing classics from Jimmy Reed and Janis Joplin with Pam’s originals like “Blues Won’t Wait” and “Don’t Be Wasting My Time” kept the intimate audience hooting, hollering, and heckling the band.
As an added spice, the band demonstrated their versatility towards the end of the night with a “Louisiana bayou groove,” a sticky funk reminiscent of the Isleys.
: Live Reviews
, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Reed, Pam Baker