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The Malpaso Gang @ The Moorings Friday 25th July 2015

Graham Knight

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I arrived at the Moorings late but in time to hear the the Oxbow Lake Band doing a pretty solid, well acclaimed version of Ray Charles What'D I Say.

Soon it was time for Moorings stalwarts "The Malpaso Gang" to take the stage.  Tonight they were a very tight four piece without their usual vocalist Nina. All the vocals were handled tonight by this Forum's own "Bigsby" AKA Matt Duncan.


I think Matt had 49 guitars at the last count but tonight he only brought three.  One was a neat Fender steel that was used to great effect on the Hank Williams tune "Honky Tonkin".


The Big Bopper/George Jones hit "White Lightning" has long been a favourite by the Malpaso Gang and tonight it was taken at a slightly slower pace than usual.

I was then totally surprised to hear a very uptempo version of an obscure rock'n'roll number called "10 Long Fingers on the 88 keys". It was originally done by a guy called Groovey Joe Poovey on the Dixie label - it only sold a few thousand around Texas.


Many thought "10 long fingers" was a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis but in fact the record puts down Jerry and is really praising one of his cousins, Country star Mickey Gilley.  The record got a new lease of life when Bob Dylan featured it on his DJ radio programme. Tonight The Malpaso Gang did a great version and had the enthusiastic crowd leaping about.


Nobody ever praises the technical support at shows but I will end this short review by praising the excellent mix tonight that had a perfect balance on all the instruments with Matt's vocals well to the front.


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