There is something endearing about seeing band that you know is both nervous and going to kill it – we all had that on Friday night with The Scarlet Goodbye’s debut show at the Hook and Ladder. They rocked it.
The Scarlet Goodbye features Dan Murphy (from Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks or Golden Smog) and Jeff Arundel. We spoke to Dan a few weeks ago and learned about how his meeting Jeff led to an unexpected break from his 8-year hiatus from music. Despite their combined decades of performance experience, Dan may have allowed then that he was nervous and he may have allowed the same on stage Friday night. But once the music started, they fell right into step.
The music has the rock edge you might expect from Soul Asylum roots and the introspection that you’d expect from Jeff. Fresh Hell is an early commentary on the pandemic; we heard a sneak preview on the show last week and it was great to see the reaction from the crowd. Folks related. There were as many knowing nods and tapping toes. Dan sang Minor Things, a song about his experience with his mother’s Alzheimer’s. Very touching. The music has underpinning for religious iconography, thoughtful and refined look at social issues and rocked.
The interaction between Dan and Jeff was engaging. They invited Katie Drahos from Butter Boys up and had Jacy Smith (who also played keyboard and more) sing a cover by Concrete Blond. It was a great night of new and familiar.
The night ended with The Low Rats; they were in great form. The energy was great and then the stage got bigger and bigger as bands fused together. Lots of great nights end with the Low Rats and hopefully more great nights with start with The Scarlet Goodbye.