Nine Pound Hammer
Live at Cosmic Charlies
August 24, 2019
Took on a last-minute invite to go out and see a live band tonight, Nine Pound Hammer who describe themselves as a “cowpunk band.” I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how relaxing the atmosphere felt and the great vibes I received from the crowd. Everywhere I looked I saw the smiling faces of really decent and happy people having a great time! The invite to go out tonight was from my friend, Toby Myrick, who was the original drummer for the band when it was first founded. Since those earlier years this band has toured Europe and played in front of some pretty large crowds. Since this was an unexpected visit by me, I really didn’t have much time to talk with the members. First off, Toby introduced me to the founder of the band, Blain Cartwright. As we drew near him out back of Cosmic Charlie’s new location on Loudon Avenue in Lexington, Blain was being approached by some local fans asking for his autograph. Toby bent over and whispered in my ear, “Blain is like a guitar god to these people. He also plays in the band “Nashville Pussy.” “Now that’s a creative name,” I thought to myself. That is one thing the punk bands have in common are creative, if not shocking names.
The night outside, the weather, the temperature, the stars in the sky made it such a beautiful night to be out. The music of the first band could be heard through the walls and the back door that would open and close as people came in and out to get a chance to talk and have a smoke. Toby and Blain gave each other a big hug and took a few minutes to catch up while I stood there realizing that I didn’t really know a lot about this genre of music, but I already liked what I was hearing from the band, Hell Bent Hearts as they played on. I went inside to listen and also take a couple of pics with my very low phone battery, hoping it would last the night.
After listening to a few songs by the first band, I followed Toby to the back where Nine Pound Hammer had a table set up with singer Scott Luallen at the helm. Looking so unassuming like a regular guy back there, but later while on the stage…totally different story! This guy is in his zone up there leading the crowd in songs, belting out the words and totally feeling them! At the moment I was being introduced to him, though, the first band was playing and there was no way to have a conversation in there. As none of us are youngin’s any more, and probably not staying late for an interview, Scott motions that I should probably talk with Blain who’s still outside, before the show.
I did get a few minutes with the legend guitar god himself, but only a few as they had to get ready for their set. Blain said this year the band was not playing too many shows but they are planning on touring Europe again next Summer. He said all of them have regular jobs and its not easy to keep up with a normal home life and practices and tours, plus he does play in his other bad. Yes, I’ve heard that story too many times. We do love our musicians and singers, songwriters and their music but they do sacrifice a lot to be able to bring that music to us. It’s a good thing that there’s a level of satisfaction in performing the music itself for them, because its very difficult to make a living off of exclusively playing music, maybe even more so these days.
Outside under the beautiful starry sky, Toby yells over the crowd, “Happy Birthday, Earl!” Moments later I was introduced to Earl Crim, who also plays guitar with Nine Pound Hammer. Earl had many a happy birthday wishes after that as we stood outside talking. Not knowing what to tell me on such short notice and with little time, I said, “Tell me a story from one of our journeys with the band.” Earl thought for a moment and then spoke, “I’ll tell you the strangest thing that ever happened to me while playing on stage.” He said, “We were playing at the Adult Swim Party in Austin, Texas for the release of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force where we have a song on the soundtrack for the movie. There were a lot of really well-known people there. The band Mastadon, The Hold Steady Band, and there were also some well-known comedians…” “Are you able to get all of that?” Earl said to me as I was typing one-finger shorthand on my phone. “Well, the best I can,” I said, “We’ll just see if I can understand myself when I go to write it out later!” “So…anyway,” Earl continued, “We were up on stage playing in front of all of these people and this girl comes up close to the stage, pulls out her breast and squeezes, and hits both Scott and I with breast milk! She had a pretty long range and a good shot, like maybe she’d done this before!” He laughed then said, “That was the first time I ever remember Scott not being able to sing. And then, later when we were mingling, this same girl comes up to us and says, “Hi! Remember me?” and I said, “Yeah. You’re the chick who just had the baby.” “It was really weird. Yeah…” Okay! Thank you for that very strange story, indeed, Earl! If she’s actually done that before then by now, she can probably be googled! LOL
The last band playing tonight is The Cynics and there was no charge in lil ole me, or in my phone for me to get a pic. I’m sure I would have enjoyed listening to them as well, but just getting a little too late for me. Will hopefully be able to catch them another time.
I want to give a shout out to Cosmic Charlies and say that I enjoyed this venue of the remodeled building on Louden. I like their parking and the outside space. The acoustics in the building, though it is concrete, is better sounding to me then the previous location. I hope they do well there and the nice crowd there tonight makes me feel like they will do just fine. Glad that we have Cosmic Charlies here in town. We need these music venues for our artists and the fans.