Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Phantoms of Soul

The Maple Leaf Grill - January 25, 2007

I visited Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood last week to see Jack Cook's Phantoms of Soul at the Maple Leaf Grill. It's been a long time since I've been in that neck of the woods, and I was surprised to see that the the Maple Leaf Grill is now located in a large renovated building that used to be someone's private home.

The Phantoms (Jack Cook -guitar/kazoo/vocals, Steve Branca - acoustic bass, David Hudson - drums, and Hugh Sutton - accordian) were playing on one side of the bar, located in a room that might have been the home's original living or dining room. This has got to be one of the smallest spaces allocated to a band in Seattle! Jack was playing guitar through a small Magnatone combo amp (that sounded great, by the way - otherworldly vibrato!) and David's drum kit consisted of a snare and what looked like a small trap case that he was using for a kick drum.

The Phantoms of Soul at the Maple Leaf Grill

I listened to the band while swilling a couple of rum and cokes with Rhea Rolfe, the President of the Washington Blues Society. Despite the cramped quarters, the band sounded fine playing Jack's original tunes and obscure roots and blues tunes, including my favorite, "Root Hog Or Die." All of the guys in the band are really fine players - I especially enjoy Jack's original angular guitar style and accomplished slide playing.

Left to right: Jack Cook, Hugh Sutton, David Hudson, and Steve Branca

I had to split after about an hour, but I will try to get out to see the Phantoms again soon when I have more time to hang out. Check out the band's schedule on their web page. See you at the nightclub!

No comments: