Dead Rock West at the Starry Plough
Part of Paste & CRAWDADDY! Concert Series NorCal Nights at the Starry Plough, I had the last minute pleasure of seeing Dead Rock West (Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennen) at this sweet little bar venue less than a mile from my news diggs in Berkley. I first heard Dead Rock West when they were doing double duty, backing up John Doe touring behind his great A Year in the Wilderness tour (wow, the hour grows late, and I wonder, is that detail actually right? Please kick me in the boot if I am off by a record). They also did their own set as Dead Rock West the same night. The afore mentioned Crawdaddy had this to say about them last month:
“Wasserman with Frank Lee Drennen are the principle players in Dead Rock West who’ve spent much of this year overseas, playing material from their new release, Bright Morning Stars which introduces a taste of Southern gospel into their vocal-based roots-rock, soaked in twanging California punk. Recorded in Los Angeles with a gang of friends like John Doe, Exene and DJ Bonebrake of X, Mark Olsen of the Jayhawks, and producer Peter Case, the duo were also aided by guitarist Ron Franklin, bassist Dave Carpenter and multi-instrumentalist, Phil Parlapiano.”
I love when I can let my colleagues cover it for me in the word department. Wasserman has a great big voice and luminous smile, and Drennen rocks his guitar hard enough to stand up to it, an urgency often heard and seen crossing his face. too. When they finally anounced that John Doe was there and would join them for a couple of songs, I smiled. I thought there was a good cahnce he’d be there, but he, too has a fine enw record out and, really, how many shows can he sit in on as he ramps up to get busy with his own record? Truth be told, if I had realzied it had already been two weeks, not one as I was thinking, since I had seen him with the Sadies at the Great American Music Hall, I might have been more confident. It was lovely to see them all in a classic bar venue: small, casual, enthusiastic. Perfect for a last minute invite! OK, goodnight. Please, let the pictures speak.