Concert Review: The Shams Band at Beat Kitchen 7/8/10

Concert Review: The Shams Band at Beat Kitchen 7/8/10
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Going to a small venue concert in Chicago, mid-summer, almost certainly guarantees doing the hipster sway with a bunch of sweaty fellow music lovers, unless your headed out to get down with The Shams Band.

Last night at Beat Kitchen The Shams served up a rowdy mix of rock, blues and Americana that had a sizable crowd dancing and singing along to songs like 'Working Man' and 'The Des Plaines River'. The scene was reminiscent of a southern dance hall upturned by bad-boy rockers.  If it weren't for their mid-western look, a body almost forgot she was in Chicago.

With tinges of Wilco, Chuck Berry, and Sly and the Family Stone wrapped
up in a rootsy twang package the energy of The Shams Band is
contagious. Songs like 'Pour Me Another Drink' and 'Shelley' have
bluesy lyrics, but leave you feeling anything but sad.  The songwriting
by co-frontmen Donnie Biggins, Paul Gulyas, and Brian Patterson is
solid and the addition of a 5th man (Ben White) on banjo and cowbell
boosts the bluegrass aesthetic this outfit is striving for.

What
was missing from The Shams Band experience was a feminine touch. Though
their dirty dog lyrics seem to want for anything but, female vocals on
a few songs would really round out the appeal of their music.  Perhaps
they could employ the talents of their current touring partner, the
bluesy chanteuse, Rachel Eve?

The
Shams Band sets sail out of Chicago today on a brief summer tour
through Michigan and Ohio.  Last night their hometown fans gave them a
slam bang send-off, love and well wishes radiating from a crowd sated
by a genuinely good time.

All my Grand Rapids and Detroit people, if you're in the area this weekend pop by to check them out in G.R. at Juke's Bar on Leonard and in Livonia at Trinity House Theater on 6 Mile at 8pm. Via-Chicago recommends that you do!

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