Hearsay: wednesday, August 22, 2002
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
Slam Duncan

HearSay got the phone call late but was glad it got the call at all: “Meet at Pedro’s,” Pedro’s being the “trailer park” on White Settlement. “Steve Duncan’s playing.” Steve Duncan? Hmmm, sounded familiar. Oh, what the heck. With nothing else doing (it was Tuesday!), HearSay polished up its formal flip-flops and affixed its drinkin’ hat. Destination: Pedro’s.

Well, whaddaya know? Steve Duncan is the guy HearSay had met the previous Friday at the Wreck Room. Duncan was there fronting The Chemistry Set, one of the young buck’s three — count ’em — three bands (along with the Happiness Factor and the purportedly defunct-but-still-kickin’ Blue Sky Black). Rumors and innuendo notwithstanding, HearSay was floored by The Chemistry Set’s poppishness — so floored that your columnist approached the dreadlocked Duncan and offered to carry the skinny singer-songwriter aloft through the bar on a victory lap (well, not really, but HearSay was truly effusive in its praise for Duncan’s band).

So, Pedro’s. (First, a note to Mr. Pedro: It’s hard to take any band at your venue really seriously when there’s an image of a 50-foot buxom blonde lounging on a motorcycle behind the stage. Quoth Lucifer: Have some sympathy and some taste.) The enormous babe, er, um, Duncan was all peaceful vibes and grace, sitting there on his stool, guitar in his lap, in the middle of a spacious and empty stage. He jammed through a few excellent, rockish originals — which to HearSay’s finely tuned ear could not have sounded better if backed by the New York Philharmonic — before he opened the floor to some fellow travelers in the house: John Price and Collin Herring.

Maybe it was Duncan’s brilliance that had both Price and Herring reaching for the rafters. Whatever it was, it goaded Price to a level of intensity that this reviewer has never experienced before, and it had Herring essentially moving everyone to tears with a stirring, Springsteen-ian ballad of losing one’s faith in life. Seeing as the entire room was occupied primarily by FOJP, no one really complained about Duncan’s absence — even though the main man of the night was eventually forced by JP and FOJP to return to the stage (’cause good-natured Price is not one to steal another’s thunder). All in all, Tuesday night at Pedro’s proved to be one helluvan outing of singer-songwriters. And while Duncan and Price don’t have any shows this week, Herring plays The Aardvark this Thursday. Of course, next time these fine troubadours convene at the trailer park — or anywhere else good music is appreciated — HearSay will give ya a shout.

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