LIVE: Eddie Angel’s Rock & Roll Christmas Party @ the Ale House, 12/18/14

Chris Sprague, Eddie Angel, Pete Curry and Kevin Maul
Chris Sprague, Eddie Angel, Pete Curry and Kevin Maul

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

‘Twas the week before Christmas
And all through the Capital District
Not a creature was stirring…

Because they seemed to be all packed into the Ale House, as the region’s prodigal son, Eddie Angel, was back in town. His band, Los Straitjackets, was passing through as the backing band for Nick Lowe, who was at The Egg the next night (a fantastic show, but I’ll leave that to someone else to talk about). In town a day early, they stopped into the cozy Troy pub for some libations and some wild musical fun.

Joining guitarslinger Angel were his Los Straitjackets bandmates Chris “Sugarballs” Sprague and Pete Curry (who also performed as the Outta Sites), as well as a true cornucopia of Local 518 roots-rockin’ musical talent.

I’m sure this won’t be a complete list, but some of the many performers who joined Angel for a nearly four-hour, three-set night of Christmas classics and other rollicking tunes were Mark Gamsjager (the Lustre Kings), Johnny Rabb (local legend and Neanderthals bandmate of Eddie’s), Kevin Maul (steel guitar player extraordinaire), Evan Conway (Holly & Evan), Josh Greenberg (the Stray Dogs, Hill Hollow Band, Holly & Evan), Ian Carlton (Rocky Velvet, Knyghts of Fuzz), John Tichy (Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, Tichy Boys) and Graham Tichy (Rocky Velvet, Tichy Boys, Graham Tichy Trio). Even Tommy Love (Blue Machine) lent his voice for the high notes on the Elvis Presley classic, “Suspicious Minds.”

The songs flew by as the revolving musicians took turns throughout the night. The Cactus Blossoms – the Minnesota-based brother duo who opened for Nick Lowe’s performance on Friday – even stopped by for a few, before being joined by a full band. This was a nice appetizer for their Egg performance the following might.

Early in the evening, Gamsjager mentioned how crazy things were, but as he put it, “These things have a habit of working out.” And, boy, did they. It was one of those nights that could never be scripted. You really had to be there to fully appreciate it. And judging by the crowd crammed into every corner of the Ale House, you probably were…

Mark Gamsjager, Graham Tichy, Evan Conway, Johnny Rabb and Kevin Maul
Mark Gamsjager, Pete Curry, Evan Conway, Graham Tichy, Johnny Rabb and Kevin Maul
Graham Tichy and Chris Sprague
Graham Tichy and Chris Sprague
Chris Sprague and Josh Greenberg
Josh Greenberg and Chris Sprague
The Catus Blossoms with Chris Sprague, Evan Conway and Kevin Maul
The Cactus Blossoms with Chris Sprague, Evan Conway and Kevin Maul
John Tichy
John Tichy
Chris Sprague and Tommy Love
Tommy Love and Chris Sprague
Ian Carlton
Ian Carlton
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