DTC Organ Trio – 12.29.15 – Thunderbird Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

Dan Wilson – guitar
Cliff Barnes – organ/keys
Dave Throckmorton – drums

For me, last night marked a long overdue return to the Space Exchange Series at the Thunderbird.  Somehow, unintentionally,  a few months had passed since I’ve been there and that’s just way too long to miss out on such consistently solid nights of music.

Without getting too deep or philosophical, I’ve been feeling some concern and sadness about the state of the world lately.  Sometimes, maybe selfishly, I just want to surround myself with people like me.  People with the same values, opinions, interests, etc. (Cue the Cheers theme song.)  So, in an effort to accomplish this on some small level, I went out to a venue and an event that always feels like home.

I’ve seen the Wilson/Barnes/Throckmorton Trio (AKA The DTC Organ Trio) a few times now and I’ve really enjoyed them every time.  The term “organ trio” generally brings to mind a certain 1960’s bluesy soul-jazz Jimmy Smith or Jimmy McGriff vibe.  But the DTC Trio brings a different feel to the genre.  These guys have a certain playful or experimental quality and you often don’t know what direction they’re heading. This is shown in the video above of a shape-shifting take on Eric Clapton‘s “Change The World” which stretched to at least 15 minutes.  Drummer Dave Throckmorton, always living up to the “Throck Oc” nickname,  hardly ever plays the straight safe beat you’d expect for this kind of music, which keeps the grooves fresh and dynamic.  Wilson and Barnes are also not afraid to switch it up and play things a little differently, sometimes even from one verse to the next.  Some other highlights of the set were versions on Michael Jackson‘s “I Can’t Help It” and Stevie Wonder‘s “Creepin”.

The T-Bird had a great vibe last night.  I’m not sure if it was due to a holiday week or because of the DTC Organ Trio being awesome, but the room was packed and people were diggin’ the band.   It was definitely the sort of positivity I had hoped for.  Looking forward to plenty more Space Exchange’s in 2016.  Cheers!

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