Guest Blogger: Joey Winter of the Steelwells on First Night of Silverlake Lounge Residency in LA

Editor's note: Fullerton five-piece the Steelwells are playing Mondays this month at LA's Silverlake Lounge, where in recent years the venue has hosted Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, Neko Case and a secret show by Beck, just to name a few. Each week, Steelwells singer-guitarist Joey Winter shares his thoughts on the performance. Here's the debut installment.


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The Steelwells with Joey Winter in the center.

"So how are you going to play guitar?" Seemed to be the prevailing question I heard leading up to the first night of our residency at Silverlake Lounge. My response? "Carefully." I had dislocated my shoulder about a week prior to the show and wasn't really sure if it would stay in place as I am prone to get carried away at times on stage. Once we began all consideration for pain was gone and we got on with the business of what we do. We all felt pretty comfortable on stage and despite the fact that we tend to be the biggest critics of our live shows I think it generally went well for us. If you were there and you felt there were some notes missed you should get your ears checked, though. Or maybe I should.

We have always subscribed to the philosophy in music that the more open and honest with ourselves and the music then the more we feel accomplished as a band. The side effect of this can sometimes be that maybe we don't connect with a specific scene or genre. Considering this, it is amazing to us that instead of losing people we seem to have managed to land in a place where there is a warm acceptance by a cross-section of music listeners. Lesson learned, don't underestimate the power of honesty in music. I feel like that is kind of the theme for this month's residency as the line-up of bands we have playing with us are doing what they do from their gut and don't come off as trying too hard.

This last week we had the Color Turning open the show and from where I was sitting they put everything they had into it. This is saying quite a lot considering the Color Turning have been been doing this for as long as they have. I tend to be critical of people who act like they are above something somehow but these guys are all great musicians with a stellar attitude about themselves and the bands they play with. A highlight for me was noticing the use of the Glen Hansard Takamine that was the cut-away version I believe. It sounded great and made me wish I had the money to fix the pick-up in my Taylor. Side note: We are all jealous of the instruments they have in that band.

Next up, we had the Living Suns. I said this from the stage and have to repeat it here: There is something religious about their new set. The influences come shining through in such a spectacular way. I felt like there were moments where Beefheart, Zappa, Morrisson (both), Sinatra, Ali Khan and the flaming Goddess of Rock were smiling down on all of us.

Last up were our good friends Yeah Brother. Two words: mandolin solos. This is a band that clearly hold tight to what they feel in music. The music is timeless and the musicians are cohesive. No one is trying to out-do the other. We really appreciate them hanging around to play the end of the evening and leaving us all feeling good for the drive home.

All in all, it was a successful night with good friends and good music. Next week we have The Romany Rye and Yellow Red Sparks to look forward to. We hope people can make it out!

Click for more info on the Steelwells.



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