Last night one of my favorite places in town, Melrose Billiards, was magically transformed into a live music venue and H-Beam invaded it with all their weird might. I'll get to the show in a minute. First there is some business to attend to.
In the past couple of weeks, it seems that J-Po has become re-annoyed with Raul Kemp and Shows Big and Small, and in his spare time, has made it his mission to expose my identity to the world and bring my whole operation down. He spent his own free time researching and finally discovering that yes, it is indeed one Jesse Meeks writing this blog and proceeded to reveal his findings in the comment section of EVERY post I have done as well as threaten to sue me, and someone has been calling from an unidentifiable number and hanging up. First of all, it's funny that he is the only person in Nashville that didn't already know this little nugget of information. Second, I'm pretty sure you can't sue someone for putting their opinion of your "band" on the internet. It's the internet for Pete's sakes. So yes, it's me, Jesse Meeks, Chepano, fan of H-Beam, Mile 8, and Old Union. So freakin' what. I'm still gonna use Raul Kemp because I like the name and, as I've stated before, it's my blog and I'll do what I damn want.
Now that we've covered the petty high school bully bull shiz section of this post, I'll get to the blast I had at Melrose last night. I arrived right on time with moonshine on my breath and my blind buddy on my arm. The band seemed to have a more relaxed approach to this show, playing more covers and jamming a little more than usual. They played a great version of Phish's "Birds of a Feather", Keller William's "Tweaker By The Speaker", and even a stripped down version of Mile 8's "Alien", which brought a huge smile to my face. Johnny Neel sat in for most of the first set which gave these songs, as well as the H-Beam originals, a welcome boost. Also joining the Beam on rhythm guitar was Rick from Uncle Milty. He seems to have found a place for himself in this band, bringing his own oddball songs like "Truck Stop Date Rape" to the mix, along with some pretty good guitar playing.
Another fortunate occurrence for this band is that they are the most recent group to enlist the drumming of Curt Redding, to go along with his bass guru, seasoned Beamer Russell Wright. By seasoned I mean he's been with them for a few months now, a feat that has become rare with H-Beam members. Anyway, when these two play together, they can make any band sound good, and often they do. Curt brought it with his own unique non-stop assault and made it sound like he had been H-Beam's drummer for years, even though this was only his second gig with them.
Even though I had to leave after the first set, I loved this show. Not necessarily for the music, which was good, but for the atmosphere of the venue. Melrose Billiards is classic old school Nashville. It's smokey, dingey, and the keg beer in plastic Solo cups is the best in town. At any given time, you could run into a celebrity (I'm pretty sure there were at least 2 people there last night who have been on the Tonight Show) just hanging out and enjoying not being hassled. I had never really heard of this bar having live music before, but I sure hope that they decide to keep it going. It was like the second Windows on the Cumberland with 10 more pool tables and a small P.A. that didn't split your brain. Being there reminded me that I definitely need to go there more often.