And if you’ve got pollution, we’ve got the solution
Just ship it to Utah, we’ll keep it for you
We’ll take plutonium,depleted uranium
It’s a no-brainium, we’ll keep it for you
–The Lab Dogs (“We’ll Keep It For You”)

The date had been marked on my calendar for months: The Lab Dogs in concert.  Likewise other fans: this was a record turn out for the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association’s monthly local concert series at the Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City.  I didn’t fathom how the Lab Dogs’ “summertime BBQ” music would blend with Michael Lucarelli’s scintillating acoustic guitar on the first week of December when the airwaves were flush with tunes of snowflakes and candy canes.  But it worked.  Michael’s mellow acoustic guitar was first in the lineup, then the colorful canines took to the stage to play a lineup featuring songs from their new CD, “Ancient Places.”

The show opened with a moment of silence and then a spirited rendition of “Salty Dog,” a tribute to Tony Polychronis, long-time host of the Bluegrass Express show on KRCL.  Since I have been to several Lab Dogs concerts in the last year, I was one of those who recognized all their tunes and could sing along.  The title track song of “Ancient Places,” lead canine Kevin Jones’ song about the benefits of getting out of town, perhaps to southern Utah or the four corners area, to clear one’s head:

The ancient places I go
They help me find the road
They show me where we’ve been before
And they help me to see
The way to be free
And to find the path to the place I want to be

Like I have said previously, the Lab Dogs seem to gravitate toward meat-based lyrics so vegetarians beware.  The CD, produced by Howing Good Records, is chock full of songs like “Pat’s BBQ,” named for the local restaurant in Salt Lake City where the Lab Dogs have oft played, “Pig Meat,” “Meat for Minersville,” and “Butterball,” a song written while waiting for the red turkey timer to pop.

My friend Cindy is a Lab Dogs groupie: her husband Bill is in the band.  There has been some highly comical debate regarding what to call the Lab Dogs’ wives … imagine.   The Lab Dogs are Kevin Jones (mandolin), Erik Brunvand (bass), Peter Netka (resophonic guitar), Bill Thomas (guitar), and DJ Frederick (banjo). Kevin, the State Archeologist, was in the original group, and Bill is on the Mount Making Team at the University of Utah Natural History Museum. And the other Lab Dogs are not scientists. Pete is a retired business man, Eric is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Utah, and DJ is a retired judge.

Bass player Erik’s pants were the hit of the night.  “Where did you buy those?” I inquired after the concert.  “I made them,” he retorted proudly.  Upon closer examination, I saw that his pants were a pair of retro’ed black khaki pants: complete with red satin bell bottom inserts and rhinestone appliques. I guess if the day job and the band don’t work out, Erik may find his calling in creating flashy pants.

The Lab Dogs mixed up their set with some Johnny Cash, “Swine Flu is What I’ve Got,” and “I’m a Lockdown for Your Love” in addition to song from the CD such as “The Road Home” and “Pitiful Losers.”  And like all Lab Dogs concerts, the good humored banter and the interaction with each other and the audience is always a boisterous, rollicking doggone great time. {woof}

Mom, MBA, yogini, concert blogger, urban hiker, flutist, lover of Euro chocolate
feliciaevita
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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 at 6:58 pm.
Categories: Reviews.

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