Chris Gaffney dishes the cold hard facts
Culver Saloon, Culver City, Cal., March 10, 2000
CULVER CITY, CA- Seated to my left was a folksinger just in town from Iowa City, Ia. on a night off from promoting his album. To my right sat a party from France, here to see "Crease Gaffney & zee Cold Hard Fax." Only in Los Angles will you find such an unlikely audience mix gathered at a honky tonk But no matter the makeup of the crowd, Gaffney always plays it straight and pure-which is exactly what he did this night.
Perhaps in honor The Hag's recent two-night appearance in town, Gaffney opened his first set with a spot-on version of "That's the Way Love Goes." But it certainly wouldn't be his last cover of the night, as he also went on to play a great Johnny Paycheck song, "Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill," which he pulled of with a perfectly straight face.
He also found a place for the old song about social justice, "Skip A Rope," a soulful take on Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," and a dang near heavy metal version of "Ring of Fire."
This is not to say that he lacked any confidence in his own repertoire, as he rocked the joint with "'68," brought life to the honky tonk lament "Six Days A Week" and got blue-y on "King of the Blues."
Gaffney and his five Cold Hard Facts played with great economy and proficiency as they crowed together on this club's small stage. They also induced many in the crowd to get up and shake their stuff, as with the accordian led "Albuquerque." Heck, even the French folks found plenty of opportunities to get continental out on the dance floor.
In this small club, Gaffney was truly in his element. He had an automatic rapport with the audience and even took timeout to sing happy birthday to one happy concert-goer.
His band may be dishing out the cold hard facts with its music, but there was plenty of warmth emitted from this veteran club band on this night.