The Monterey Club, Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The new Fort Lauderdale bar the Monterey Club is rockabilly through and through. There are hot rods parked out front, a flaming sacred heart painted on the wall behind the stage, and tiki imagery throughout the room. And it all fosters the mood set by bands like local legends Slip and the Spinouts, who have been at it for more than 10 years, and who took the stage at the venue this past Saturday night.
The decor agrees with frontman Slip Mahoney's Elvis-style sideburns, dark-brown quiff, and sparkly blue Gretsch hollow-body guitar. (What's more, the axe is decorated with two pin-up vixen mud flap girls posing in a beckoning, reclined position around the fretboard.) Steve Satch's tall black stand-up bass was also as visually appropriate as the zebra and leopard printed rugs that matched Slip's guitar pedal board.
"This song is a story about driving in my pick-up truck," Slip said by way of introduction, stroking the strings and launching into "Exit 39," a track about Jack Daniel's-influenced, open-road driving gone wrong. Drummer George Ed has only been playing with Slip for two months, but trucked along, keeping a steady beat. Meanwhile et stoic-faced Satch, showing his true-blue rockabilly colors in a Goddamned Gallows T-shirt, bent his big bass over to pluck and spank its strings like it had been a very, very bad girl.
Speaking of women behaving badly, the following song was an original too. A slow and easy drum beat dropped, quickly followed by Slip's lurching guitar and Satch's thumping bass. Thus began the groovy title track of the band's most recent album, Crazy Lil' Baby. The refrain of "I got a crazy little baby/But she's much too crazy for me", eventually gave way to the song's conclusion, "But she says she ain't crazy/'Cause the only crazy one is me."
And thus it was that the favorite rockabilly themes of ray women, the open road, and hard liquor had all already appeared in Slip's originals. Others, though, went for more unorthodox subject matter. For one, there was "Devil's Swamp," which has yet to be released on a Spinouts album. Slip says he came up with the idea for this song while reading someone's college paper about the 1864 Civil War battle at Yeehaw Junction. It described, he says, how Confederates defeated the Union by seeming to walk on water with the help of Seminole guides who knew the location of a bridge in the swamp.
But there were covers aplenty, too, reaching back to standards of the rock and roll, country, and of course rockabilly that inform the originals. These included renditions of the Chantays' 1963 classic instrumental surf rock song "Pipeline," Billy Emerson's "Red Hot," and Johnny's Cash's "Ring of Fire."
Random Detail: You can catch Slip and the Spinouts January 30 at the Monterey Club's Night of the Tiki event.
By the Way: Slip does not live in Yeehaw Junction, as his MySpace profile indicates. His stomping grounds are Delray Beach.
-- Courtney Hambright