Matt Hagen’s Shocktober series at Light Club Lamp Shop part 1, Matt’s Murder Ballads, October 3 2019   Leave a comment

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I had a great time seeing music last night at Light Club Lamp Shop. I have a radio show on Thursdays on WBKM that begins at 9pm. I trigger the show from my laptop and usually like to stay close to home so everything runs smoothly. Every once in a while, a Thursday show seems doable, and the idea of seeing Matthew Bryan Hagen play murder ballads with Brett Lanier on Pedal Steel seemed too good to pass up, especially as the show was set to go from 7-8pm. That should have allowed plenty of time to get home and get things running.

I headed out around 20 of 7 and the door was still locked when I arrived. I grabbed some coffee at Radio Bean then made my way into the Lamp Shop. Everything was mostly set up and Ryan Cohen was there to record the show for Robot Dog Studio. A little bit of warmup/soundcheck quickly turned into the beginning of the show. Matt began with gentle dark chords on the acoustic guitar and a deep haunting vocal. Brett’s mournful slide added extra shivers to the songs. They began with a cheery song about about a guy asking someone to watch his bar stool since he gave the person the skin off his back to make a coat. Things turned darker on a tale of honeymooners who robbed a bank and were later hung together. That’s one way to celebrate a wedding. Up next was a tale of a man who had a wolf as his spirit animal until the wolf ate him and he became the wolf’s Spirit Man. A song about Bone Picking kept the spirit dark, then they followed with a tale of unknowing revenge. You know how sometimes kids make a pact to marry each other when they grow up, but the man leaves instead,and takes the woman’s knife and heart? Hearing the story of how that woman in black dealt with the situation when he returned was both surprising and not surprising at all. A song about some cold friends showed that they were not really such good friends in the end. A song about an outlaw who knew his time was almost up followed. I found it easy to sing along with the chorus about the Horizon the second time through. After the song, Matt said it was an old Kyle The Rider song, so it’s likely I’d heard it a few times before, a long time ago. A tale of selling your soul to corporate America revealed itself in Wallet Of Sin then came a song about tables that had been turned. It turned out that Larry The Canary had picked up on how this coal mine thing works. He flew in just far enough to no longer be seen, waited a while, then flew out. The miners went in with the expected results. They capped the night with a fast rousing cover of Bobby Bare’s song about Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau which was a great end to the show.

I ducked out quickly and zipped home in plenty of time to start my show. Wow, with that timing, I just might be able to make the other four shows this month. Matt’s got a lot of creepy Shocktober plans, so if you need a Halloween fix, head to the Lamp Shop from 7-8 on Thursdays.

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