Last night, as team USA battled Belgium and local bars and restaurants like Wild Wings, Dirty Jack’s and the Orange Peel housed eager fans, a party of a different kind flowed under a tangle of sycamore branches, hanging lights, and electric wires. The Grey Eagle‘s free Tuesday night show featured Pat Reedy and the Longtime Goners, a five man band based out of New Orleans that has a clear following in this neck of the woods as well. Guitarist and singer Reedy, wearing cowboy boots and a plaid button-down with cutoff sleeves, paid tribute to Bob Dylan, New Orleans and the mess and wildness that was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in a mixed set of covers and originals.
In the midst of the grungy honky-tonk swing and heartfelt lyrics, an expressive melody rang out from the pedal steel guitar, a strange table-like instrument played expertly by local musician Leo Grassl who sat in for regular band member John James. Reminiscent of Waylon Jennings’ or Willie Nelson’s styles, the moaning, rambling sound was almost disconcerting as it threaded through the textured acoustics of the fiddle, stand-up bass, guitar and drums.