Shooter is well named as he certainly shoots from the hip when it comes to live performance. Taking the stage wearing shades is probably not such a good idea but he never waivers from his ‘look’, complete with a Dolly Parton t-shirt and plenty of positive attitude. With his band of four musicians, they somehow fit on the small upstairs stage at the venue, giving their roadie tech quite a few headaches negotiating the various guitar changes.
The gig is packed and there are quite a few fans of Shooter’s music in the crowd, singing along to the songs they know best, across a set that included all shades of Shooter’s musical journey from traditional country, into psychedelic guitar experimentations, electronica and back to the outlaw sound that has always defined his roots.
No doubting the quality on display as Shooter is backed by Ted Russell Kamp on bass/vocals, Jamie Douglass on drums, John Schreffler on guitar/vocals and Aubrey Richman on fiddle/vocals. Individually they are all very strong players and together, they brew up a real storm of interplay across the 18 songs included in a very generous set that touches base with all of Shooter’s seven releases, plus a track or two not yet recorded.
He plays six songs from the new release, Shooter, produced by Dave Cobb and something of a return to the influences that inspired his debut release in 2005, Put The O Back in Country. The tracks played are Bound Ta Git Down, Denim & Diamonds, Rhinestone Eyes, Living In A Minor Key, Shades & Hues, Fast Horses and Good Hideouts. They all sound fresh and vibrant on first listen and the band are certainly enjoying the buzz of playing new material in a live setting.
Outlaw You, The White Trash Song (a Steve Young cover) and The Gunslinger From The Other Life release are really well received, while his break away album, Black Ribbons, is visited with stirring versions of Don’t Feed The Animals and All Of This Could Have Been Yours.
Belle Of The Ball really lifts the performance as a tip of the hat to Shooter’s father Waylon and he revisits his debut album with the tracks, 4th Of July and Steady At The Wheel, sounding very much part of this strong set.
A really positive return to Ireland, his first in 12 years, and no doubt Shooter will return in the near future to build upon this positive response to his music and his rocking performance.
Clive Barnes opened the night with a 20-minute set of his wonderful blues tunes and a vocal that continues to sound like it was honed by swallowing shards of glass in its raspy delivery. Always the entertainer, Clive tells funny stories about his career and life on the road. His tattoo of Robert Johnson tells everybody where his heart lies and he doesn’t disappoint as his dextrous playing on bottleneck and lap steel guitars provide plenty of entertainment.
Review by Paul McGee Photography by Des O’Brien