Nobody rocks the pinstripes like Mike Campbell of The Dirty Knobs (and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.) Below, Campbell and reflections in the shades of his own guitar playing, and soulful Knob guitarist Jason Sinay.
Double the fun sets and fun playing 12.1.16 at Agoura Hills, Calif.'s Canyon Club. Campbell's hoodlum virtuoso band The Dirty Knobs is indeed a lot "dirtier," swampier and prone to fascinating cover song choices than the classic Heartbreaker format. I quite like them! Their leader does too: during one of co-guitarist Jason Sinay's sizzling solos, Campbell kept pointing to him and reminding the audience, "and this guy plays for me?!"
Unmistakable highlights: Campbell's proactive engagement with his appreciative audience; his properly desperate-but-resolute cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero;" and the Knobs' instrumental of Jimi Hendrix' "1983 A Merman I Should Turn to Be." Yes, you have to be this good to make a Hendrix song sound this powerful, building from great to supernova just like the late maestro, with typical left field seguing into something similar, "Hey Joe" and back again to build to "1983's..."s intense finale. And they claimed this was an impromptu, non-set-list choice!
Left: tasty jams betwixt Campbell and Sinay;
right, Big Hendrix Finish!
Opener was guitar champ Marc Ford (of Burning Tree back in the Coconut Teazser daze, a band who impressed me mightily.) This proved a slightly bouncier, less jazz fusiony set than the last time I admired and photographed these two acts. To remind me of that gig (LINK) I played The Blessings on my drive to and from the venue.