Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spin Doctors at B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill

Chris Barron
A New York based band called Trucking Company changed personnel and then its name to Spin Doctors in 1988. Spin Doctors began playing jam band clubs like New York's Wetlands Preserve and hit commercially in 1992 and 1993 with "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." Several personnel changes began in 1994. In 1999, singer Chris Barron lost his voice to a rare acute form of vocal cord paralysis that severely affected his ability to talk, let alone sing. He was told he had a 50 per cent chance of ever talking or singing normally again.  Spin Doctors soon disbanded. Barron's voice returned in early 2000, and he began performing with his band Chris Barron & the Give Daddy Five. The original line-up of Spin Doctors reunited for the first time since 1994 to play at the closing week of Wetlands Preserve in 2001. Odd shows followed in 2002 through 2005. Spin Doctors played one-off live shows in the U and Europe in 2008 and celebrated the 20-year anniversary of its debut album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, with a United Kingdom and United States tour in 2011. The band released its sixth studio album, If the River Was Whiskey, in 2013. The current personnel is the classic early line-up of vocalist Chris Barron, guitarist Eric Schenkman, bassist Mark White and drummer Aaron Comess.

Spin Doctors easily brought a party atmosphere to B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill tonight. The band performed old favorites, newer songs and deep cuts. The show opened with "What Time Is It?" and "Traction Blues" before revving the crowd with "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." Most of the set was funky and upbeat with a taste of southern rock guitar. Surprises included seldom-performed songs like Prey to Bears" and the first full version of "Hey Dick" since 1993. (A more recent attempt in 1994 was foiled when Barron forgot the lyrics and the band aborted the song.) The band played well and Barron spoke frequently with the audience between songs, but the real attraction was more than the music -- the attraction was that Spin Doctors puts on a fun show.

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