by E.A. Poorman
There’s nothing better than a great night of rock n’ roll. Hard working guys and gals offering up some original sounds at high volumes as you spill that well-earned beer down the front of your shirt. After three or four of those draft beauties you don’t care because the music grabs you and slaps you around. It caresses and brutalizes. That’s what a great rock show does for the listener. The only thing that would make this show even better is when it’s right in your backyard. Well this weekend there’s not one, but two amazing shows going on right here in the Fort and you’d be a grade-A idiot not to come out to both.
First up is Friday, August 1st at The Brass Rail. The Whiskey Daredevils, The D-Rays, and Fort Wayne’s own Dag and the Bulleit Boys will be putting on a hell of a rockabilly-meets-surf punk-meets-gut bucket country kind of show. The D-Rays played in the Fort last year with Streetlamps for Spotlights and it was a great eardrum-shattering show. They’re mixing up Link Wray, X, and The Ventures into their own brand of surf punk you don’t want to miss out on. I recently talked to guitarist Erick Coleman about this Friday’s show and the band in general.
EA Poorman: So this isn’t your first Fort Wayne gig. How did the show go last time around?
Erick Coleman: The first D-Rays show in the Fort was awesome and in a way a homecoming of sorts for me. I lived in Ft. Wayne for about a decade a number of years ago and was fairly active in the local music scene. In addition to playing in The Beautys and a band called Fat Ass I also brought a good number of touring bands to town during my time there.
EAP: I think when folks here The D-Rays there are definitely some classic bands that come to mind as far as influences. But who or what do you site as inspiration for The D-Rays sound?
Erick Coleman: The D-Rays pull from a wide range of influences but the one that stands out the most would probably be Link Wray. His down and dirty instrumental style really spoke to me as a young player. Other influences include The Lively Ones, The Tornados, The Venture of course. A lot of reviews compare our style to Dick Dale. I can understand why they do but I am by and large unfamiliar with his catalog other than the hits.
EAP: Tell me a little about the show on August 1st at The Brass Rail. Who are you playing with?
Erick Coleman: The Whiskey Daredevils are a high energy rockabilly band from Northern Ohio. They’ve played the Brass Rail a time or two but we’ve never played there together, same with Dag and the Bulleit Boys. Their drummer Dave was in The Beautys, Fat Ass and a band called The Speed Knobs with me so I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with him again.
EAP: So let’s talk a little about the most recent long player by The D-Rays. You did some recording here in the Fort at Off The Cuff with Jason Davis, correct? Will you have some records available for purchase at the show?
Erick Coleman: Both our 7″ and 12″ records were recorded with Jason and in a way he’s become the 4th member of the band. His production style really goes over well with us and we trust his judgment more than we do our own. Our original intention was to record in a number of analog studios but after our first session with him we all decided Off The Cuff was the studio we want to call home. Jason has put in countless hours behind the board, has some amazing gear and the studio has a super comfortable working environment. Very conducive to making a great record. Yes, we will have both records available at the show.
EAP: Where else are The D-Rays playing this summer?
Erick Coleman: We kicked off the summer with a set on the main stage of the Nelsonville Music Festival, which was super fun. We have a bunch of shows on the books but some notable upcoming gigs include The Aquabear County Fair with WV White here in Athens, OH and the 6th annual Hot Rod Hula Hop in Columbus. Its a cool car show at an old bowling alley. We’ll be playing with the Supersuckers and Coffin Daggers. Both should be a blast!!
Sounds like it’s going to be a hell of a show. Get out to The Brass Rail Friday, August 1st and support local music and show some great touring bands the Fort’s hometown hospitality.
Now on the other end of the musical spectrum there’s a happening going on Sunday, August 3rd at The Tiger Room @ CS3. Chicago’s The Red Plastic Buddha come to town to play a triple bill with Fort Wayne’s own Heaven’s Gateway Drugs and Soft N’ Heavy with liquid lights provided by Dr. Robert’s Ocular Odyssey(say that three times fast.) I was able to chat with Tim Ferguson, The Red Plastic Buddha’s singer, bassist, and spiritual center about the band and their upcoming Fort Wayne debut.
EAP: So Tim, tell me about The Red Plastic Buddha. What should Fort Wayne know coming into this show?
Tim Ferguson: We are a psychedelic pop group from Chicago. If you like Black Angels and old Pink Floyd, you’ll probably like us too. We’re probably more song oriented and less 20 minute freakout than some in our tribe. I’ve always drawn inspiration from the first wave of British psychedelia, but I’m drinking from the same pool as most of the other new groups. I’m older though, so I went through punk and all that followed. I’m not really a purist about what belongs and what doesn’t stylistically, so there’s bits from here and there. I grew up with songs with hooks and choruses and we tend to go that route.
are in bands all over the world who are making amazing music. HGD are definitely known in the larger community and I think it was a mutual friend who turned me on to their music. I had talked with Derek Mauger about setting up a show and we finally managed to make our schedules work. Our mutual friend Bob Wagner (who does lighting under the name Doctor Robert’s Ocular Odyssey) was available to join in on the fun and we also recently added Soft N’ Heavy to the lineup. It’s going to be a fun night.