The Show: Wednesday, December 15, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Pablo and the Hemphill 7

By ANTHONY MARIANI

There was a time not too long ago when reggae monsters Pablo and the Hemphill 7 were regularly pulling off what few Metroplex bands could dream of playing three-hour sets. The place was the 8.0 patio downtown, where Joe Vano and the boys were holding down a bi-weekly Sunday night gig. The time was summer, when the living is supposed to be easy but, for an on-the-verge reggae outfit like Pablo et al in a sea of non-rastas, apparently aint. One of my favorite musicians is Louis Armstrong, said Vano. And he used to play three-hour sets, like, every night. I told the other guys in the band, Hey, if Louis can do it in a tux we gotta suck it up!

One explanation for the bands ability to play so lonnnnng could be that the previous five months had found Vano and company on hiatus, in a limbo of sorts. We were working too hard, Vano said, noting that he and his band usually played at least once a week, somewhere around town. I was pushing the guys too hard. The guys went to other bands and then came back. All of the musicians except Vano play in other local bands. Both keyboardist Justin Pate and guitarist Steffin Ratliff play in Sleepy Atlantis, drummer Damien Stewart keeps time for Goodwin, and horn player Jonathan Irwin blows for Confus-a-tron. Guitarist Marcus Lawyer has the weirdest side job. Hes deeply involved in a project in which he records area musicians playing their instruments of choice, then cuts-and-pastes the tracks onto the recorded work of other area musicians, like a sonic collage. Im real picky now with what gigs we play, said Vano. I want to make it profitable for the guys and be considerate of their other bands.

Pablo and the Hemphill 7s next show is this Saturday, at Axis, with a few other bands capable of conjuring Jamaican vibes, including Kulcha Far 1 and the clown princes of Sublime-ian white-boy boogie Darth Vato. Tuxedos not required.

Anthony Mariani

Sat with Darth Vato, Sally Majestic, Kulcha Far 1, and Sin-C at Axis, 120 S Main St, FW.
817-870-AXIS.


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