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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Just Plain Fun

Show Review:  The Waynewood Boys at The Steak Hut

And then sometimes, you find cool music in the darndest places! 

Live Bands!  Well...Alright!
I've run a bluegrass jam at my place for a couple years ago, and quite a few musicians have found their way through my door.   At one time or another 3/4 of the Waynewood boys have jammed with me, so when they told me about this gig...in a "greasy spoon" diner...in Detroit....I admit I was somewhat hesitant to believe it could be worth the 45 minute drive.  However, they're good guys, and good friends, so I loaded up Brooke (my daughter and "concert buddy") and gave it a shot. At very worst, we were going to get to spend some time together over breakfast.  Well, I must confess, it turned out to be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed myself immensely.

During the week, the Steak Hut serves typical cheap breakfast and quick lunches to mostly blue collar workers in Downtown Detroit (1551 W. Lafayette Blvd).  However, on Sundays, in addition to great breakfast specials,  they offer up live acoustic bands playing for tips during their otherwise slow weekend business hours.  For a mere $4.95 I got a VERY good breakfast platter of eggs, American fries, bacon, ham, sausage and toast.  Classic diner fare, done they way it should be...and delicious. 

It Takes a Team to Pull of a Breakfast This Good!
The wait staff and cooks are friendly, attentive and right out where you can see them.  Beside keeping my coffee cup full, they circulated constantly among the customers, chatting with long-time regulars and introducing themselves to newcomers.  This led to a very welcoming and inviting atmosphere.  Perhaps 12-15 seats at the counter, several small booths and a couple tables make up the entire service area.  The small space, coupled with the hard-surfaced diner setup meant that no amplification was necessary for an acoustic band.  Even the vocals sound great in the room.  This is my daughter's new favorite restaurant, because they serve M&M pancakes (a delicious riff on the classic chocolate chip cake!)

The Waynewood Boys
The Waynewood Boys are not your typical, high-octane, mile-a-minute bluegrass combo.  Instead, they offer up a smooth and soulful mix of bluegrass standards and rock/folk covers perfect for casual listening while eating.  Their opening set included (at one point) the Band's the Wait, Bill Monroe's Blue Moon of Kentucky and a great version of the instrumental Cajun Fiddle.  The band definitely has a cool groove, and an easy lope to their music that--like the M&M pancakes--is somehow familiar and comforting, yet full of occasional delicious surprises.  The stripped down vocals are exceptional not for their harmonies (which aren't bad), but by the infectious smiles and near giggling enthusiasm with which they are delivered.  This band obviously has a ton of fun doing what they do and it shows.  Catch them next time they play (and drop a few bucks in the tip jar). 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for coming down to the city John, it's always good to see you.


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