Tuesday, June 26, 2007

STT 2007 #3: Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band

Okay, so this isn't exactly theatre, but it is entertainment. A few weeks ago I got to hear and see Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band perform live. As always, I love live music. As always, I didn't really know their music. As always, I shimmied my way to the front row and screamed like a rabid fan directly at the musicians, after asking someone next to me what the names were of the various band members.

My first experience with the music of Ryan Shupe & the Rubber band was probably in 2002. My sister had some of their tunes. I listened to one called "Snow," which I think may have been inspired by the death of Howard W. Hunter? Maybe? I think I also listened to a song called "Go to Hell." Anyway, I thought it was good back then. This concert was my second experience with their music.

Apparently they play what is classified as country music. Strike one. I didn't remember their music as sounding country at all from the first time I listened to them. When they came on the stage, to me it sounded like the person who was speaking was trying to sound like a hick. You know, trying to put the twang in his voice. Strike two. Don't pretend. Be real, dude! I don't care if the record company says that you're country artists and that you're supposed to talk like that: it's LAME! Stop it! Fortunately, he cut out the "accent" a little later on in the show or at least it didn't sound so forced to me later on.

You see, I don't like country music, but what I do like is what I like to call alternative bluegrass. In other words, the musicians are playing the fiddle, the banjo, perhaps the mandolin, but they still have a fresh non-country, non-wife-leaving/dog-losing/truck-breaking, sound to it. It's more like alternative rock with banjos and fiddles. You know? I like that. And, that is what Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band sounds like to me.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the concert. The music was mostly good, and I could probably listen to their music in my car on a road trip - the whole CD straight through. There are a lot of songs to like in the world, but only a select number of bands that I can stand for an entire CD. I believe that they are one of those. If you check out their songs on their web page, I have to say that I liked "Even Superman" in spite of its country sound.

Dang it. I like a country band.


KieraAnne said...

I first heard Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band in college at Weber State (2001?) when they played at the theater where I was a house manager. They were selling CD's in the lobby and I managed to talk them into giving me a free one since "my ushers and I did such a good job..." I didn't really think they'd buy it, but they gave me one of their live albums anyway. I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly every song on the CD since then. It never occurred to me that they could be considered country. The only song that would make me think that was their cover of The Devil Went Down to Georgia...but even that had a rock feel to it. I especially like the Banjo Song. Okay that's all. :)

Cassie said...

I saw them in concert a while ago and in college as well. I thought they had broke up. Maybe the just took a break for a while. I liked them then. I think that was the first time I had ever heard the Devil went down to Georgia song.

Jill - GlossyVeneer said...

I love Shupe! When I was in college, a group of us decided to drive around Utah and catch Peter Breinholt and Ryan Shupe concerts. (1998ish) It was awesome, good frivolous fun.

tearese said...

i never thought of them as country either. I have a cd with the snow song on it, and I always wondered which general authority it might be referring to.

Anonymous said...

I like the "Superman" song, too and one (on their Dream Big album that I downloaded to my computer, because I like their sound so much) called "Hey, Hey, Hey." It's great!

Nokomis said...

Good post.