Penny's Page
Live Show Reviews by Penny Robinson

6/28/03 Read my Preview of Eric Johnson's upcoming show at the Engine Room on July 11th!

6/28/03- Ian Moore @ Whiskey Blues

I have to say this was the most enjoyable show that I've attended this year, despite the fact that I almost ran over the man while pulling into the parking lot! Ian was gracious about it though.

The crowd started gathering at the club early, and were anxiously waiting for Ian Moore to finish his sound check and begin the show. Keeping in mind this was Whiskey Blues first time to have Ian at the club, the turnout was amazing and many people drove down to the Island from Houston and surrounding communities to welcome Ian.

There was no opening act, just Ian and Chris Dye who is the tour manager and band cohort. Chris is a really cool guy and he wears mis-matched socks. Thought you'd want to know that little detail. The guys seemed very relaxed and enthusiastic about their first show and it went off without a hitch.

Bobby Gervais and Mykey (Mike) Fulton of were there doing a live taping and video of the show. Bobby helped run sound, and with everyone working together the evening was flawless.

Chris Dye and Mykey (Mike) Fulton

The owners and staff of the club were just as mesmerized watching Ian perform as the audience. This was an absolutely beautiful performance, and I can honestly say as many times as I've seen Ian perform, this evening he was at his best. I'm convinced this man is incapable of having a bad show. He received a standing ovation and did an encore which actually turned out to be almost another set!

Setlist: 1st set
Room 229
Beautiful Light
Big Girl Now

2nd Set:
Mend a Broken Heart (Bee Gees)
Ordinary People
New Day
Wedding Day
neutral Milk Hotel song
Elephant Tears
Blue sky/Yer feet

What I've Done (new song)
Ease My Pain (Townes VZ song)
I Want You to Want me (Cheap Trick)
Busted Afternoon
Girl (Beatles)
Nothing Can Change this Love I have for You (sam cooke song)
Redneck Muddy Jesus


Thank you Ian and Chris for the wonderful evening. A Special Thanks to Bobby Gervais for providing the setlist. Thanks to the owners and staff of Whiskey Blues. You guys rock!

ps...don't forget Eric Johnson will be at Engine Room July 11th. I'll see you there!

6/25/03 Solar Flare Records president Bob Wilkinson organized a listening party for Superna's new CD release 'The Ending' at Hard Rock Cafe. Pictured below left are Kristin Sager and Mitch Burman of the Engine Room, Melanie Brink and Nick Midulla of Superna, Bob Wilkinson and Melissa Jump of Solar Flare Records. On the right Superna is pictured with Kat, the operations manager of the local
Hard Rock.

The party was a success on every level and extremely well attended by many members of local press and radio.

Pilot Radio, a Solar Flare label mate, was also playing at Hard Rock that evening, and at last minute they learned the other band scheduled to play with them cancelled. Melanie, Nick and Rey Garcia of Superna stepped up and performed an impromtu unplugged performance and rocked the house! Melanie's vocals were right on as is her stunning stage presence, especially after taking a four month hiatus from performing while awaiting the birth of her second son Zamiel Dean, who was also in attendance. Zamiel said he had a blast at the party and watching his mom perform ;~).

Nick's acoustic guitar skills are stellar and at times tend to have a slight spanish influence. Rey Garcia (who was showing off his new 'do) is a master of percussion and is a perfect fit with Superna, as is bassist Steve Sharfa, drummer Rico Garcia and turntableist Obiwan Spinobi. Steve, Rico and Obi sat out on this performance and cheered on their fellow bandmates and terrorized the females in the audience (we loved it). The show was incredible and it was obvious everyone wants to see Superna back on the club circuit pronto. As the guys (and gal) in Superna are fond of was definitely "good times"!

Pilot Radio, as usual, put on a kick-butt performance. The band just recently ended an extensive four month tour and are finally performing for their many fans and friends in Houston.

For those of you who haven't heard...Solar Flare won Best Label during the 2002 Houston Press Music Awards, and rumor has it they are a top contender to win again in '03. I'll lay odds on Solar Flare.

My thanks to Bob Wilkinson and Melissa Jump of Solar Flare Records for the invite, Mark Landrum of HoustonBands.Net and all of the attendees for making this evening a complete success.

Congratulations to Superna for the release of their best effort to date. To the nay-sayers who didn't believe 'Reflect' could be topped... wrong! Superna will have their official CD release party at their studio Cryolab Saturday August 9th. Be there. Check their web site for times and directions.

Cheers to you, and please help support the local music scene!

Penny Robinson

6/07/03- Vapor, Dirty Wormz, Pushmonkey, Vallejo @ Engine Room

A good time was had by all at Engine Room. 1st up was Vapor. I happened across this band before at Engine Room a few months ago and got them a gig at Whiskey Blues in April.

click image to view full size

The band is very tight, has catchy tunes and puts on a very energetic performance. Good people too, extremely cordial. Vapor completed work on their current CD in Ca. at Mad Dog Studios with Grammy Award winning producer David Bianco. Check the bands website for more info and soundclips.

Dirty Wormz....I've heard tales about this band and finally saw them live. They're a mix of Hip-Hop/Rap with a bit of Rock on the side. Smackola is the only dude not to wear a mask. The masks are a little frightening, kinda Satanic if you ask me. The guitarist had an inverted cross on his bicep. RUN AWAY!!! Ha ha. They put on a kick arse show, lots of cussin' too. Werd to your Mutha...Pure Evil. I liked them. If you love hip-hop/rap, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better band than Dirty Wormz. The band is Infektious, so be warned. The Vallejo Bros. (Vallejo Music Group) produced the DW debut album The Infektion. Watch their tour schedule and be sure to see these guys when they're in H-town again......or else.

Pushmonkey. One of my favorite bands. They had a huge crowd this night (and every show from what I've seen, they have a gigantic fanbase) and were in great form. Will Hoffman wasn't present due to his wife giving birth the day before, but the band carried on without a hitch.

They did a few new songs and are currently (from what I hear) in the process of compiling a new album. YEA! Can't wait. I loved El Bitche'. Someone else did too who will be nameless(Beau Rawlins-Whiskey Blues owner), and swiped it.

Darwin introduced me to Alan Doss, the drummer from the now defunct Galactic Cowboys, and Bill Walter was also present from Darwins' other band Ashbury Keys ( It was a killer performance and the 1st time the band has played at Engine Room in quite a while. How Darwin plays the drums standing is beyond me.

Vallejo closed out the evening. This band always puts on a fantastic show and has a great interaction with the crowd. Along with Pushmonkey, these guys are seasoned veterans and every performance is flawless. For the encore Tony Parks and Smackola joined the band onstage and the crowd went nuts! I was trying to take a few shots and it was tough considering I was being slammed against the stage, but I managed to take one useable pic. It was insane!

I had a ton o' fun and it was good to see some of my wayward pals (you know who you are!). As always, my thanks to the Engine Room staff, and a special thanks to Jason Price.

I'll be at Engine Room on June 27th to see Abasia and Leaf, so come on out. I'll see you there...

Penny Robinson

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May 2003

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