Joe Adler And The Rangers Of Danger At VT Pub & Brewery And Sarah Blacker At Radio Bean July 12, 2013

Words by Tim Lewis.

Yesterday was a long work day.  It was the kind of day where it seemed like it was slow, and everything was in control, but every question and call was far more complicated than it had to be.  I was a bit tired after getting a shorter night’s sleep than was ideal.  I got out at 7 and slept for a couple of hours.  I woke up tired and grumpy and excessively not wanting to go out.  I love Joe Adler’s music and the Rangers of Danger only make it better, but they play around a lot.  I might have been able to skip it, but Sarah Blacker was playing at Radio Bean at 11.  Who could possibly miss that show? With great reluctance, I tossed myself through the shower, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed for the Pub.  I went into the bar and got a beer, then went out to the deck to see the show.  I found a nice place to stand, and listened as they played.  This was a stripped down version of Joe Adler and the Rangers of Danger, with Matthew Kloss on stand up bass, Daniel Fresco on drums, who played with him the last time, Brett Hughes on lead guitar, and of course, Joe on guitar and vocals.  The drummer was playing more of a beat box, and did not have a kit.  Kloss was at the front of the stage, facing inwards, with the effect being a musician’s circle.  Everyone’s playing was very good, though the electric lead guitar was pretty buried in the mix.  Kloss’ picking was pretty impressive, and the drummer was always on. They played some fun covers such as The Stones This Will Be The Last Time, and Werewolves of London.  They tossed in some of the originals that I don’t know as well, but they were good.  I remember Spit ‘N Fire Blues being really fun.  The crowd was appreciative, but mostly there to eat and chat.  A couple of kids danced wildly for a few songs, until they had to leave. I did not bring a watch and was getting stressed for time, so at the end of my beer, I took a walk.  The clock on the bank said 10:46 and I almost went back for another Joe song, but the thought of Sarah’s music drove me forward.  I almost got sidelined walking up Church st.  In the space above Tina’s designs and Good Stuff, some band was playing some pretty intense rock.  There was an open door to a music lesson studio with stairs going up, but after a couple of moments of listening from the street, I headed to the Bean. The previous band had cleared out and Sarah Blacker was setting up when I walked in.  I chose a seat at the bar and waited as she, and her stand up bass player Bryan Worley, set up.  I picked up a copy of her new EP, Precious Little Things, tossed some cash in the band tip jar, and soon enough, she started with Pluggin’ Away.  The guitar and stand up bass had a nice sound, and of course, her voice just soared.  She played the whole EP, along with nice versions of Sandpiper and When I Was New, both of which are personal favorites.  She tossed in a super soulful, delicate, powerful epic singer/songwriter version of Don’t Worry, Be Happy.  I barely recognized it, and loved every note.  The poignant moment of the night came during Perfectly Imperfect, when someone set off some fireworks outside.  She seemed to freeze for a moment then said the sound reminded her of hearing the blast in Boston during the Marathon this year.  She pulled it together like a champ, and played a great version of the song.  She wrapped up the set with a stomp and clap version of Revelry of Heart and a rocking These Summer Nights. The day before, she had played a few songs on WOMM the Radiator, and a couple of those folks came out in support. My spirit wanted to head back to VT Pub and Brewery to catch a few more Joe songs, but my body was ready to drop.  I made the quick walk home and crashed shortly after arrival.  Tonight is another long night of music……..

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,