Pignic Pub & Patio was casually packed for the eighth anniversary of Loud As Folk, a monthly showcase of hometown and touring musicians. Thursday was the first of four nights of music, food and community.
Loud As Folk is the brainchild of local musician Spike McGuire. He’s a true Spike of all trades. He lives for music and providing a space for musicians, but it doesn’t stop there.
“The most special part is the organization we are benefiting, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Northern Nevada,” McGuire said. “They are Nevada’s first no-kill animal shelter and that’s special.”
The SPCA united McGuire with his best friend, a pup named Sneezy.
There’s a family vibe surrounding the concert series. Saturday night’s lineup features the same lineup Loud As Folk brought in 2014: Kepi Ghoulie, John Underwood, and Buffalo Moses. Another performer, John Courage, recorded McGuire’s upcoming EP “Salute To America” that will be released in July.
“Every month we have three artists from our community benefiting an organization based in our community, and we get help spreading the word from NV89 Radio and KNPB TV,” McGuire said.
Whether you perform for a living, you pick up a guitar once a month or you just like to drink, Loud As Folk has a way of making you feel welcome.
Another skill McGuire has mastered is hosting. He has a way of selling while being completely endearing. Between sets, he played a song or two and reminded the crowd where the money in the donation bin is headed.
After opening up a second story, it’s hard to keep calling Pignic a small venue. One room was full of devoted listeners, the other, devoted drinkers. I assume the folks making their way upstairs just wanted to neck in peace.
Tyler Stafford kicked off night one and was joined by his buddy Dave Berry of Jelly Bread for a few songs. They shared the smiles of friends and the music of two people who have worked with and around each other a lot.
So Sol is new to Reno, fresh from Boston. I kept hearing good things from Outlaw Kindred’s Josiah Knight.
“Dark Americana is my shit,” Knight said while glued to their set.
The duo had me immediately smitten.
Jessica DaSilva occasionally sings in Portuguese. She has a lovely vocal range that was sometimes low and sultry. It perfectly paired with John Garrett’s guitar. There was never a predictable moment.
DaSilva plays banjo and stomps on a wooden box while little shakers on her boots rattle with the beat. Some music doesn’t need much percussion to be perfect.
Garrett thanked the crowd and McGuire and said this is the most accepted they have ever felt as a band. That’s a lesson to everyone out there who doesn’t feel accepted. All you have to do is be beautiful and exceedingly talented. The rest will work itself out.
Berry hopped back onstage and was joined by his partner in crime, Cliff Porter, playing together as 14K.
They have the vocal harmonies and precision of two dudes who have played together for decades. I’ve seen their band Jelly Bread play too many times to count, but the simplicity of this setup made it unique.
They sat somewhere between folk and R&B. Dave has a way of letting his first two fingers get loose on the low end of the guitar. There’s never a simple chord progression.
Porter was beating a cajon with two mallet brush things while singing. The area where the snare hits was worn and cracked.
To put it plainly, Porter is fantastic. The kind of drummer you can vibe to and yet be totally confused by at the same time. It adds up, but I have no idea how he did it.
Both vocalists can easily sing lead or solo, but the rich fullness of their combined vocals is unmatched.
The headliners, People With Bodies, are a lot of different things, some I don’t quite understand.
Their music is mostly upbeat and sometimes surfy. The bass and drum unit held together the droning guitar and playful vocals. They seem to be teetering on the verge of silly. One song’s verses are strings of consciousness filled with curses. Like that Blink-182 song with a little more melody and a couple more chords.
This was the evening of drummer/vocalists. Theirs was talented as all hell. It’s like drummers get bored. Their polyrhythmic “every limb doing something different” lifestyle keeps them yearning for more. One of these days, I want to play a drummer in a game of chess whilst performing. Takers?
People With Bodies are odd, but good. Oddness on purpose can definitely work. Hell, all my favorite things are weird as shit. Their fourth member is a little plant potted at center stage. At one point, they just stopped playing and moving for a while. Just to soak in that Andy Kaufman crowd awkwardness? Sure.
Their ability to switch from silly voices and curse-vomit to talented interludes was noticed.
There are two more chances to get Loud As Folk, tonight and a Sunday brunch.
Support some artists and help some cute little pets. Doesn’t get any better.
— Tony Contini