A Night of Stand-Up Bass at Bones

February 17, 2013

I received a line on a free show Friday night at Bones, which appeals both to my cheapness and laziness…Bones is a two-block walk from my house, and there’s nothing sweeter than a show you don’t need to pay to see.

The show started at nine, but I arrived about a quarter after, just in time to catch one of the warm-up acts, Steve from The Deadnecks and one of his friends, Ryan, playing a two-man acoustic set. The band, One-Eyed Whore, is one of Steve’s side projects. The place was near to full; in fairness, not everybody there was there because of the show. It was a Friday night at a popular midtown bar, after all, and there was no cover.


Justene and her band.

One-Eyed Whore plays outlaw country, in keeping with the theme of the night. Steve and Ryan play, alternately, guitar, mandolin, and stand-up bass. Steve can sing country pretty well; his smoke- and whiskey-damaged voice carries well over the guitar. Both have a deep love for thumpin-and-pickin country music, and it shows in their stage performance. This is one of Steve’s three bands. He truly cannot get enough country, from the looks of things.

Justene and the Lost Cowboy were up next, just before ten. It was Justene on banjo or guitar, her bandmate Stanley on guitar, and Steve on bass. The trio played more outlaw country; Justene and Stanley traded vocal duties, singing original songs and sounding even better than previous shows. They don’t play a ton of shows, but always sound like they spend plenty of time practicing. “I screwed up a couple times,” Justene remarked afterward. If she did, I never heard it.


Ted Ness and the Rusty Nails. It’s unclear which ones are the Rusty Nails, but all of ’em play well.

Ted Ness and the Rusty Nails was last in line; they started just before eleven. The bluegrass quintet had the richest sound of any band, due in no small part to being almost twice the size of the band before them. This was my first time seeing the band, and I can say, they know their way around bluegrass. All the elements were there: guitars, a fiddle, mandolins, and a king bass. Their sound is bluegrass with a definite Montana flavor–a sweeping, freewheeling sound that hints at long miles traveled.

I’ll be the first to admit that country music isn’t often my bag, though seeing bands like this over the past year or so has given me a true appreciation for it. I’ll see these bands again…next time, I may even pay for the privilege.

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by james
James Reuss was born in Montana, raised in Montana, and barring catastrophe, will continue to live in Montana. While not a professional writer, it is his fondest dream to be one, thus making good both on his love of literature and his fancy English degree. His hobbies include the three Rs: reading, (w)riting, and really unhealthy amounts of video games.

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