Chad Price at 3 Kings Tavern, 12/17/10
With Lenny Lashley • Pete Stein
12.17.10 | 3 Kings Tavern
Former punks and present cowpunks splayed open their hearts in the tradition of the great singer-songwriters last night at 3 Kings Tavern. Lenny Lashley, former Darkbuster frontman and current frontman of Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys, Chad Price, former ALL singer and Drag the River (aka Drag the Liver) singer, and Pete Stein, former Truckstop Coffee member and current member of...eh, himself, were on hand to put a river of tears in our suds as we approach the happiest day of the year. All three of these singer songwriters are veterans of whiskey-soaked nights, broken hearts and long stretches of lonely road.
It was a lonely night at 3 Kings on Friday, a mixed blessing at best, a poor showing at worst. But you don't spend a night with broken-hearted singer-songwriters expecting a sold-out stadium crowd. Still, whether it was the cold weather, a plethora of Christmas parties or D.R.I. in town at the Bluebird, far too few people came out to enjoy the sounds of Lenny Lashley, Chad Price and Pete Stein. But then again, a singer songwriter show is always an intimate thing and fewer people allows the singers to connect more with audience.
Lashley opened the show by saying, "I'm Lenny Lashely, a gang of one," and broke into song. By his second song, "Whiskey & Water," an old Darkbusters tune, you knew what you were in for throughout the night. Stripped from his punk rock roots, Lashley has a kind of Elvis Costello style of singing and songwriting -- if Elvis Costello were from Boston.
Lashley had a self-deprecating humor that softened the mood between songs. But nothing sums Lashley up more than this lyric from Anti-Christmas: "I've had some Guinness and some Internet porn." A song about his pending divorce -- and, of course, the time of year. It's a Christmas song that doesn't suck.
"Leaving in the Morning" is a Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys song often covered by Drag the River. "That's how I first heard about him," said Virgil Dickerson, owner of Denver-based Suburban Home Records. "I found out and thought, 'I've got to find this record.' I found it and ordered it from the label; it took me eight weeks to get it. Then I listened to it like a thousand times." Since then he's talked with Lashley and has reached an agreement to re-release Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys on Suburban Home.