Miami Feels that Funky Fire
It was another exciting night at one of Miami’s most respected musical stomping grounds, Churchill’s Pub. Punks, skinheads, rednecks, rockers, greasers, and even hippie potheads; all came together for an event by Idle Hands Productions. Los Angeles’ own; The Aggrolites, and Old Man Markley took the stage like they were right at home, and South Florida welcomed them with kindred hearts ablaze.
Old Man Markley played first. If the large, standup washtub bass didn’t catch your attention; the autoharp definitely did. Followed by the tambourines, the banjo, and the tattooed guy scratching the spoons as if his life depended on it. Old Man Markley had it all; a fiddle, a washtub bass, a banjo, a washboard, seething guitar, autoharp, drums, and razor sharp wit to boot. Anyone could tell that these folks really loved what they were doing. I especially loved to watch Annie in her red cowboy boots; something about the way she hollered and stomped her feet, gave me the goose bumps. There were songs about love, songs about escaping, songs about booze, songs about broken heart, and even songs about songs. I have never seen a band with a tambourine and banjo, have so much high energy. Everyone had a really good time watching Old Man Markley set it off.
When The Aggrolites walked onstage, a thick layer of humidity and anticipation seemed to arrest the crowd. As more people filed in, it became so hot that someone in the crowd yelled, “somebody turn on the sprinklers!” As soon as Jesse grabbed his guitar and smiled, baring dimples, there was suddenly no room between the spectators. Roger asked the crowd if we wanted some “Dirty Reggae,” and when the room lit up- they broke into song. From Aggro’s beloved, “Funky Fire”, a mind blowing cover of Delroy Wilson’s “Once Upon A Time”, and a pile of sing-alongs; The Aggrolites ripped through the set without an intermission. The singer briefly signaled the promoter to pleeeease bring him a cold beer, but after a sip he was already diving through the next track. Roger worked that organ like he was desperately putting out a fire! The crowd erupted when they played “Dirty Reggae” with the same intensity. Watching Jesse onstage, hearing him belt out rocksteady, soul, and reggae songs; was like watching James Brown in his prime. Everybody was shouting and swaying their hips! That night, The Aggrolites might have shown Miami a thing or two about how to get down!
By Amy Lou
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