Archive for Bump Band

The World’s Greatest Happy Hour

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on May 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Ian McLagan, left, and Austin radio personality Jody Denberg at the Lucky Lounge.

If you are ever in Austin, Texas, on a Thursday night and you happen to enter a place called the Lucky Lounge … well, you may be luckier than you thought. That’s because most Thursday nights, the Lucky Lounge hosts a free happy hour between 6-8 p.m. with Ian McLagan and the Bump Band for entertainment.

And bruddah, that’s entertainment – Ian McLagan is of course the diminutive keyboard player for the Small Faces (with Steve Marriott) and later the Faces (with Ron Wood and Rod Stewart), two of the greatest British bands to ever invade the States. McLagan has been an Austin resident for a number of years, and he does not hesitate to play often in his adopted hometown.

Cake was served in honor of the birthday boy.

His Bump Band is a seasoned, polished unit – Don Harvey on drums, Jon Nortarthomas on bass and “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb on guitar – that is easily the the best band you’ll ever see playing at a free happy hour. The night we went, it happened to be the day after McLagan’s 66th birthday, so this happy hour was a true party.

And “Mac” was in rare form: even introducing one song with “this was written by Ron Wood, Rod Stewart and me …” and he kicked an awesome “Cindy Incidentally.”  Right after, “You’re So Rude.” He doesn’t need to lean on old Faces warhorses, though; some of the Bump Band originals were just as rockin’ and heartfelt, like “Date With An Angel.” I’ve seen McLagan pull out a Small Faces tune like “Get Yourself Together,” but unless I missed it, he didn’t do one this time.

McLagan never forgets to pay tribute to his dear friend Ronnie Lane, the Faces bassist who moved to Austin after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Lucky Lounge - home of the world's greatest happy hour.

“Ronnie’s the reason I’m here in the first place,” said McLagan, and played Lane’s “Spiritual Babe” before pulling out the Lane/Faces classic “Glad and Sorry.” All the while, birthday cake was being passed around and between songs Mac would take a moment to open a gift, thank the giver and accept a kiss from a lady in the crowd.

McLagan invited Austin radio personality Jody Denberg up to sing a few tunes, and hey, Jody’s not a bad singer. They wrapped it with Wood’s “Mystifies Me,” then “Little Troublemaker,” from McLagan’s first solo album (1979). By this time, Mac was shouting from the stage, “This round’s on me … tell ’em to put it on my tab!  I’m not kidding!”

And he wasn’t – the bartender placed a frothy cool one in front of me and pointed to the stage. Where else can you see one of the world’s most legendary rock musicians playing up close and personal, and have him buy you a beer on his birthday? The world’s greatest happy hour, that’s where.

MP3: “You’re So Rude” (live) by Ian McLagan & the Bump Band

The Lucky Lounge official website

Ian McLagan official website

Ian McLagan's birthday party - a good time was had by all. (Click to enlarge)

When you see this you're about to get lucky.

Rock Moment: A Rolling Stone goes Face to Face in Houston

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by 30daysout

McLagan and Wood, Continental Club Houston 2005

If you’ve gone to more than a few rock shows, or if you like to see musicians playing in small clubs, you probably have heard of these once-in-a-lifetime shows, where somebody really famous unexpectedly jumps onstage in an unlikely spot.  I always wondered if I’d ever experience one of these unique occasions – and five years ago it happened.

December 2005: The Rolling Stones are touring behind their latest album, A Bigger Bang, and tonight’s show is in Houston’s downtown Toyota Center.  At almost the same moment as the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” cranks up its show, another group of musicians are setting up a few miles away in the Continental Club.  A small but devoted crowd of people are gathered at the Continental to see Ian McLagan and the Bump Band, from just down the highway in Austin.  McLagan is, of course, the keyboard genius who powered the Small Faces and the Faces in the 1960s and 1970s.  And his Bump Band this night consists of drummer Don Harvey, bass player Mark Andes and guitarist “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb – crack musicians all.

Ian McLagan, left, with Mark Andes at the Continental Club in Houston

There’s a buzz going through the admittedly small crowd: will there be a mini-reunion of the two members of the Faces in town?  Guitarist Ron Wood has been with the Rolling Stones since 1975 but before that he was McLagan’s bandmate in the good-timey Faces.  The buzz gets louder as the Bump Band takes the stage and rip into “Little Girl,” from their first album.  Seeing a music legend like McLagan up close, you can’t help but marvel at your good fortune – these guys play free happy hours most Thursdays in Austin’s Lucky Lounge and occasionally make the 165-mile trek to Houston to make even more people feel lucky.

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Live: Ian McLagan & the Bump Band, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on October 16, 2009 by 30daysout

Ian McLagan 1

A few million people in Houston were holding their breaths Thursday night for a cool front.   Rock and roll legend Ian McLagan and his Bump Band arrived in advance of the front, bringing the cool to a sweltering city.  Performing against the backdrop of skyscrapers and fountains, McLagan and the Bumps rocked Discovery Park with a handful of gems from the Small (and plain old) Faces and some glittering gems from McLagan’s solo career.

“Never Say Never,” the title song of the newest album, was a highlight, as was the rocker “You’re My Girl.”  The Bump Band is a crack band that even leaves behind peers in Austin – McLagan’s adopted home town.  Comprising “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb on guitar, bass player Jon Notarthomas and drummer Don Harvey, this awesome lineup is professional but loose, appropriate for the bandleader’s boozy-bloozy goodtime tunes.

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Ian McLagan on David Letterman Show

Posted in News with tags , , on June 16, 2009 by 30daysout

lw-ian-mclagan

Ian McLagan, one of our all-time favorite classic rockers, will take his Bump Band to New York for an appearance tonight on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”  Mac is promoting his latest album Never Say Never, and he may or may not reunite with the rest of the Faces this year.  McLagan plays a free happy hour weekly at Austin’s Lucky Lounge, which is one of the biggest bargains in the country.  Ian McLagan is a great musician and a truly sweet soul, check him out if you ever get a chance.

UPDATE: Ian and the Bump Band appeared with special guest Patty Griffin, while the “Fire David Letterman” rally raged outside the studio.  They performed the title song from Ian and the Bump Band’s new album Never Say Never.  Go here for a show recap. 

UPDATE 2: They finally posted the video here.

MP3: “Rock Me” by the Faces

Ian McLagan’s MySpace page (stream music here)

Review: “Never Say Never,” Ian McLagan & the Bump Band

Posted in Review with tags , , , on July 3, 2008 by 30daysout

Ian McLagan is the genius keyboardist who, with the late Ronnie Lane, was the heart and soul of the Faces.  McLagan is a full-time resident of Austin and he’s assembled a crack team of players in the Bump Band, which includes guitarist “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb and bassist Mark Andes (Spirit, Heart, Firefall).  Never Say Never is the band’s new album, and it features some of Mac’s finest songwriting and singing to date.  The title tune, which kicks off the album, sets the slightly somber mood.  The album’s highlight is “An Innocent Man,” a tender acoustic ballad about loneliness which Mac obviously sings from the heart – his wife, Kim, was killed in a car accident in 2006.  Mac was devastated, but he’s said his music has helped him get through.  And there are enough light moments on Never Say Never to show that it’s working.  “I’m Hot, You’re Cool,” is a pub rocker in the style of Faces, and “A Little Black Number” is something you could hear old bandmate Rod Stewart singing, if he and Mac were on good terms (they’re not).  “Killing Me With Love” sounds like a British music hall, and “Loverman” is a horny little rocker.  Unless you live in Texas or attend one of Mac’s great live shows, Never Say Never may be hard to find (try McLagan’s website) but it’s well worth seeking out.

MP3: “I’m Hot, You’re Cool”

MP3: “An Innocent Man”

Ian McLagan’s official website

Mac’s Pages (Bump Band info)

 

It’s Time To Enshrine The Faces!

Posted in Rock Rant, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2008 by 30daysout

So nice to see that Madonna is now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum – now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to some serious business.  Like placing the great Faces in the Hall of Fame.

The Faces rocked the late 1960s and early 1970s like no one else, including the Rolling Stones.  First known as the Small Faces, the core group of keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones found themselves at a crossroads when lead singer Steve Marriott left the group.

Salvation came in the form of two new members: guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart.  So in 1970 the Small Faces became simply the Faces, and they came on like a bunch of rowdy boozers who just happened to be great musicians.  With Lane (and sometimes McLagan) the group already had strong songwriting, but Stewart and Wood contributed some great numbers too, like the classic “Stay With Me.”

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