Saturday, December 17, 2005

Jive Train's Antones Swan Song

Yes, it's once again time for Jive Train at Antones. But this time, disturbing rumors were circulating prior to the show. One was that Jive Train is breaking up. The other was that the lead singer was sick and wouldn't make the show.

As it turns out, the rumors were true. The band started out by announcing that it was their last performance at Antones and that the singer was sick, but a friend had stepped up to the plate and taken his place.

Their replacement was good, but didn't seem to have the funk repertoire of their regular front man. Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Mellencamp weren't exactly what I expected at a Jive Train show. But that's not the weird part.

After playing for an hour or so, the band took a break. I left to run an errand and got back about a song and a half into the second set. Not long after that, they announced that Tracy Byrd was in the audience and invited him up to join the band in a song. The keyboard player from Zona Jones's band was there too, and he took over the keyboard part of Jive Train's sax/keyboard player's job. And it seems that other people just wandered onto the stage at will. At one point they had on stage three people playing guitars (to electric and one acoustic), one playing bass, two playing saxophones, one on trombone, one on keyboards and one on drums. And then there were the girls from the audience dancing on the stage.

You might think that Mr. Byrd would do one song and sit down. But you would be wrong. He sang for at least an hour, doing mostly country standbys (You Don't Have to Call Me Darlin', Darlin'; Luckenbach Texas; Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain; etc.) before retiring to the back and backing up the band when they moved back to somewhat funkier stuff.

It was a uniquely enjoyable show and all very unexpected.

Jive Train will be back on Crockett Street one more time (but not in Antones) for New Years eve, and that will be the band's last performance. I'll miss 'em.

You can see the proof here.

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