337a/1243441550-skyepaige.madriver_tbl_32_resized.jpg A full room of local music fans, friends of the band, and Hawaiian-shirt-clad city visitors attended the Skye Paige & Original Recipe gig at Mad River Bar & Grille (32-B N. Market St.) last night — one of many events in Piccolo’s Early Bird Blues series, which kicked off last Friday. Series organizer and local musician Gary “Shrimp City Slim” Erwin gave us a warm welcome at the doorway. The grinning bar staff served us a few rounds of chilly Blue Moon beer (two bucks during happy hour — cheap!) while Skye her backing trio played two sets on the main stage.

All dolled up in a bright-red dress, the lead singer looked and sounded mighty sassy through the rockabilly-style set. Bassist John Krucke locked in pretty well with newly-added drummer Brian Widlowski, who kept time and accented little transitions on an abbreviated, three-piece vintage drum kit. Lanky lead guitarist Robert Paige (of the powerhouse quartet Holy City Sinners) added several hot solos and licks on his Fender Telecaster in an expressive style falling somewhere between Keith Richards, Brian Setzer, and Magic Sam. The band’s set mixed plenty of classic ’50s and ’60s rockers (a version of Wanda Jackson’s “Hard Headed Woman” was a cool surprise) in with their original numbers, too. —T. Ballard Lesemann

The Early Bird Blues continues this week and next:
Wed. May 27 — Cotton Blue
Thurs. May 28 — Jeff Norwood
Fri. May 29 — Juke Joint Johnny & Drew Baldwin
Mon. June 1 — Ed “Porkchop” Meyer
Tues. May 2 — The Matt Walsh Duo
Wed. May 3 — Geoff Achison
Fri. June 5 — Drink Small

(photos by T. Ballard Lesemann)

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