Honky Tonk Rocked The Middle East

I had not heard of Whitey Morgan and the 78’s until I met Tony Martinez, one of Whitey’s guitarists as well as the opening act, in Nashville last month. When Tony told me about this show at the Middle East Upstairs, I promised I would be there.

Whitey Morgan

Whitey Morgan

I think Tony was surprised that I was, but I keep my word (and I knew that I didn’t have a show previously scheduled that night)!

Tony Martinez

Tony Martinez

Based in Michigan, Whitey is a guitarist, songwriter and singer whose version of country music is honky-tonk, outlaw, and everything that is not pop country (which I dislike). I enjoyed this music a lot, although I admit to being partial to any band that includes pedal steel.

Whitey Morgan and Joey Spina

Whitey Morgan and Joey Spina

In addition to Tony on acoustic guitar and vocals, current members of the 78’s are Brett Robinson on pedal steel guitar, Joey Spina on guitar and vocals, Alex Lyon on bass, and Tony Dicello on drums.

Tony Martinez

Tony Martinez

Joey Spina

Joey Spina

Brett Robinson

Brett Robinson

IMG_2920

Alex Lyon

Tony Dicello

Tony Dicello

 

The band is touring in support of its recent release, Sonic Ranch, which I purchased at the show. I have listened to it a number of times since the show and it is an excellent album. I am glad, however, that I saw the band before knowing any of their music because the energy they bring to the stage makes the music that much better.

Tony Martinez and Brett Robinson

Tony Martinez and Brett Robinson

Their set included many songs from the new album, old favorites, and songs requested by the audience. Whitey asked if we wanted to hear songs by George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Paycheck, to name a few. I know those artists a bit but did not recognize the songs so I do not know if they were faithful to the original or Whitey’s take on the songs. Regardless, they all sounded great to me.

Whitey Morgan

Whitey Morgan

I happened to be standing directly in front of Brett so I was able to see how a pedal steel is played. I know it is considered a difficult instrument but Brett made it look easy. Both Tony M. and Joey are excellent guitarists and backup vocalists. Alex and Tony D. provided the bones on which the rest of the music rested so well.

Whitey Morgan

Whitey Morgan

It was a ‘school night’ which meant I left before the show ended, but I caught an hour and 45 minutes of them which was enough to know that I will see them again.

Whitey Morgan and the 78's

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s

Tony’s opening set was excellent. He recently release a five-song EP titled Everybody’s Buddy and played all the songs from that album (even telling us which track the song is).

Tony Martinez

Tony Martinez

He also played a few cover songs to fill his 45-minute set. Tony is another purveyor of pure country; he has a fine voice and I enjoyed his set. I do not know if he is a permanent member of the 78’s, but I hope he returns to Boston soon.

Tony Martinez

Tony Martinez

This was my first time at this venue and while it does not rank among my favorites, I did not dislike it (or feel claustrophobic as I did at the Middle East Downstairs to which I will never return). It is small; if you are not terribly tall and want to see, get there early.

Ticket courtesy of Whitey Morgan; all opinions are my own.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on October 27, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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