Drunken Barn Dance is Scott Sellwood, also of Saturday Looks Good to Me, often performing solo but occasionally joined by a group of fellow Michigan musicians. The first time I saw Scott back in 2006, I was immediately drawn to his directly honest songwriting that clearly paints the people, places and events of his life, warts and all. The songs generally bear a strong influence from lo-fi indie acts like The Mountain Goats (who he covers twice here) and Guided by Voices, with a folk tinge. In the past I waited for Scott to let me know which recordings he was okay with being released to the wild, but this time when I talked to Scott he told me to go ahead and put up what I liked. Here to make him question that decision are my
two three four favorite recordings from Drunken Barn Dance, each one displaying a slightly different facet of his live performances. All of them were recorded at Ypsilanti’s popular Elbow Room.
2007-06-25 – Drunken Barn Dance, Frontier Ruckus, Fred Thomas & Palomar
I really like how this one came out, with Scott played solo acoustic guitar this night. Songs include the debut of “Promises End”, which appeared a year later on the limited The First State, Non-Tour EP., as well as two other songs. The set finished with a suitably noisy version of The Mountain Goats’ “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton”.
Listen to “Third Wheel’s a Charm” from this show.
2008-01-04 – Cheap Girls, A Light in August, Drunken Barn Dance & Matt Jones
Scott’s playing solo again but this time on electric guitar, which was a good thing due to the loud crowd. Notable this night are two fantastic covers, an a cappella version of Liz Phair’s “Perfect World” and The Beatles’ ‘Dig a Pony’, plus an early (first?) performance of “Guilt”.
Listen to “Perfect World” from this show.
2008-02-01 – Brown Bird & Annie Palmer, That’s Him! That’s The Guy!, Matt Jones & Drunken Barn Dance
An early full-band gig, featuring Scott DeRoche (guitar), Joe Scott (bass), Greg McIntosh (banjo) and Ryan Howard (drums). I love the performances of “The Last Desperate Stand of the Last Fair Man” and “Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin…” here. Also, Joe Scott’s backing vocals fit in very well, especially on “Fireworks (Never Tell)”.
Listen to “Fireworks (Never Tell)” from this show.
2008-10-04 – A Light in August, Drunken Barn Dance & September On
A full-band set again, This time with Scott DeRoche (guitar), Jim Roll (bass) and Ryan Howard (drums). The band are stretching their legs now and I especially like Scott DeRoche’s guitar work here. Another Mountain Goats cover tonight, “International Small Arms Traffic Blues”, as well as great versions of “The Guest List” and “You Left the Wrong Girl”.
Listen to “Evelyn Wears a Tiara” from this show.
Drunken Barn Dance – MySpace Page
Next show – 2008-12-09 – The Pike Room, Pontiac, MI – 8:00 PM
Make a note – 2008-12-26 through 28 – Mittenfest 2008, The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI
Download the shows:
2007-06-25 – FLAC or MP3
2008-01-04 – FLAC or MP3
2008-02-01 – FLAC or MP3
2008-10-04 – FLAC or MP3