By Tianna Lake
Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys are an americana folk band, made up of 4 phenomenal musicians; Peter Cann on lead guitar and vocals; Thomas Webb on bass, banjo and vocals; Mark Geddes on drums, percussion, bass and vocals; and of course Gordie ‘Crazy Legs’ MacKeeman on fiddle.
The band’s traditional roots style is shot through with their infamous sense of humour, and comes out in spades throughout their album ’Pickin’ n Clickin’.
If the purpose of performing is to captivate the audience and create a sense of connection, then this is done before the first song is even over! There’s a great sense of intimacy as each band member in turn gets introduced and becomes the initiator of the next set.
When, midway through, a dance erupts between a grandfather and grandson in the audience, it’s as if the music opens a door that separated them and unites them through the musicianship that enraptures the audience. It’s an unspoken unity – and slowly, everyone’s facial expressions brighten with this primitive sense of joy.
I’m captivated by how the performers create a link between themselves, the music and the audience. The crowd on stage, the karaoke, the laughter! For the duration of the gig, we’re best friends.
Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys – “The Beatles of Western swing” as Gordie puts it- have had a massive influence on their stage presence, the dancing, the humour and the showmanship. Throughout the show, the energy is infectious and the crowd are soon standing and dancing to each song in full swing. But as far as the band are concerned, they have to thank the audience for that. It’s their reaction that creates such an amazing atmosphere throughout.
So far, Bridport has been the highlight of the tour according to the band. Why? because the audience was filled with so much pure enjoyment, that it reminded them that the best part of being musicians is sharing their talent with the world. That notion, that radiates constantly whilst Gordie and the boys are on stage, is exactly why there were permanent smiles plastered across each and every face at The Firestation tonight.