January 10th, 2012

Loopster Live: Southern Backtones Host “Elvis Night” at Fitzgerald’s

The King entered the proverbial building 77 years ago… he exited 42 years after that, but apparently that fact is still up for debate. Whether Elvis Presley lives on through his music and those who choose to honor him on stage or he’s holed up in an Airstream somewhere in Wyoming, we as music fans have to keep on going. What better way than to step into Fitzgerald’s to celebrate the King’s birthday than with Southern Backtones playing Elvis’ hits with the occasional accompaniment of Craig Kinsey?


Craig Kinsey of Sideshow Tramps took the stage around 9:30 to begin the festivities. It was a set filled with songs that you’ve heard before if you’ve ever caught a Tramps show which led to a bit of a disorienting feeling. We need to have the Coach, Ragtag and Uncle Tic to get the full effect.


Instead it was Hank Schyma on bass along with Southern Backtones’ drummer filling out the stage. An early appearance of the headlining act is a nice touch, especially when it seems there was more than enough chemistry between the collaborating musicians to fill the room.


The only thing that challenged the chemistry on stage was the charisma factor by the time the Southern Backtones took over the night and sent the audience hurtling into the golden age of rock n’ roll. Schyma has a helluva Elvis impersonation when his lips touch the microphone.


If you were wondering… Yes, they probably played that song. In fact, the only part of the night lacking was the promise of David Bowie (who shares Elvis’ January 8th birthday) covers. The man who was to command Major Tom, Chase Hamblin, had fallen ill and couldn’t make it out. Hank and his crew did eventually succumb to the cries of the crowd wanting a little Bowie, but first warning the crowd to get out their cellphones in order to record and post to YouTube the worst “Space Oddity” cover in history.


It was a perfect cover show, in all honesty, and a popular one at that. Southern Backtones had to find themselves a larger venue after last year’s celebration crowded Avant Garden over capacity (according to sources).


Even more exciting than a night of Presley was learning that Southern Backtones are getting ready to release their fourth album. Next month, February 11th exactly, new venue The Capitol at St. Germain will play host to the Houston rockers as they give birth to La Vie en Noir. The first single is already available on iTunes (click here) so that it may receive your tacit approval.


Lucky for me, I already have my hands on the single and the other twelve songs that make up the latest album by Southern Backtones since 2007’s eponymous effort. Yes, it’s pretty damn good. No, you can’t borrow it. We can share notes on February 11th. I’ll see you there.


Random Photo Note: Richard thought we should omit this photo; that there were better photos than the one immediately above. He’s probably correct, but I for some reason I really wanted to have this photo of Schyma racking the strings of his guitar with the microphone in this article.

Also, we’ll be getting a few more photos in their original sizes loaded onto Flickr in a few hours. Check back for details.

— Paul


Robyn — Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:56 am

It would have been nice of you to mention the brunette bombshell, Chelsea “Bambi” Flickinger, who sang lead on Trouble/That’s Alright Momma plus a mini-encore of P. Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” …it was her debut and she overcame a bit of jitters to perform solidly… The crowd (among them, me) loved her!

Paul — Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:22 am

Duly noted, Robyn.

Not Omar — Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:59 am

It would also be appreciated if you noted that audience members Omar, Jamie, Leslie, Jaohet and Katherine really enjoyed the show, and even sang along to some of the better known choruses.

Melissa — Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:19 pm

Loved this show – thanks for such a wonderful article. I remember Bambi and I thought she did a great job. That’s a good picture up top. Are she and the lead singer dating?

Jamie — Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:28 pm

Good job, Bambi, you were a crowd pleaser. :) Way to overcome your jitters!

JB — Thursday, January 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Don’t forget me. I showed up. Remember?

Robyn — Thursday, January 12, 2012 9:23 pm

Yes, Melissa, Bambi and Hank are together… and you’ll have to forgive me Not Omar & JB; I’m one very proud mom… Bambi’s my daughter. They ALL put on great show & I agree with Jamie, great article! Thanks!

Add Your Comment