What a hoot! What a gas!! I haven’t had that much fun without having to take a shower or apologize afterwards in a long time. Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours at Piper’s Opera House fits like a stripper and a brass pole. Some things just go together. Piper’s Opera House has been a part of historic Virginia City for over 150 years. Not only has Mark Twain frequented the theater, but Hal Holbrook has played there to sold out shows as Mark Twain. Piper’s is the perfect stage for Antsy and the Troubs.
Antsy consented to me photographing and writing about the show, plus he invited me to take some promotional pictures of the band before the show. Some I’ll share…some I won’t! It didn’t take long for me to feel the comradery and love that this band has for each other. After about 15 minutes of taking pictures and talking backstage I excused myself so they could do whatever they do before a big show.
The humor and jokes are in no short supply at an AM&TTPT show. (Has that acronym been used before?) Of course, the music is the number one draw, but when the big crowd pleasing opener is Living in Aluminum, an ode to trailer park life and a question of life’s priorities, you can’t help but keep it fun throughout the evening.
Let me ask you honey, which is better? A mansion full of money, or a trailer full of love?
The sound and style of the band is hard to put into words so that those not in the know understand. It’s got a taste of Nashville, a pinch of New Orleans, a dash of swing, a gob of folk, a dollop of jazz, and some balladeer stuff mixed in.
No matter how you break it down – no matter how you add it up – an evening with AM&TTPT will feed your soul and revitalize your spirit. They pure joy that flows from every member of the band is bound to infect you with giddy delight. With song titles like Aunt Beula’s Roadkill Overcoat, and Prozac Made Me Stay, who cannot smile ear to ear all night long.
The harmonies were tight. The rhythm section of Terry Domingue on drums and Todd Masters on both upright and electric bass drove the music forward with integrity, and the guitar solos of both Antsy and Ric Wilson were great to hear. Of course on saxophone and mandolin was Bruce Wandmayer. The lightness of the show was underlined on multiple occasions. During one song Antsy forgot the words and started ad libing that he forgot the words until an audience member shouted out a lyric that got him back on track. There was no shortage of one liners all through the show.
We have a song with some lyrics and music, and we’re going to play it for you now.
At intermission Antsy could be found in the back of the opera house at the merchandise table shaking hands, taking pictures, signing autographs and kissing babies. He loves his audience and isn’t adverse to show it. When he got back to the stage they had drawings to give away a pair of inflatable pink flamingos, and a hand full of CD’s. Much ado was made of the raffle and fun was in plentiful supply. To wrap up the break he auctioned off seating on the two antique couches that were on the stage giving the money to the opera house.
A couple times during the show he invited everybody to join him after the show down the hill at The Red Dog Saloon. As the evening was coming to an end he got the crowd to start a conga line which he eventually joined, and led the crowd (those daring enough to follow) out the doors, down the stairs, and on down to the Red Dog Saloon. We joined the party at The Red Dog. Bruce joined the Voodoo Dogs on stage for a couple tunes and ended up playing on the bar too. (Personal note: I used to play with Danny Michael of the Voodoo Dogs)
I highly encourage anybody who reads my little stories to take the time to go to one of the Troubadours shows as soon as the opportunity arises. It will be an evening as enjoyable as anything you could hope for. These guys put on a show that could enrapture a huge audience. Give them a hand and set your DVR for whatever it is that you just can’t miss, and go to a show. You won’t regret it, and your TV show will be on the DVR when you get home.
Antsy is a gifted poet, song writer, storyteller, and in a musical kind of way, philosopher. If you listen to his lyrics beyond the laughs you will find deep meaning throughout. His sense of humor and ability to put it into song is a true gift. I would not be at all surprised to find that the humor is just the honey to pull us all in, and get out attention. Then he tells us a story with a moral to make us feel better.
And besides,he’s got great hair.
It’s always nice when the audience out numbers the band.
For a lot of Trailer Park pictures, click here
Antsy McClain – Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
Bruce Wandmayer – Saxophone, Mandolin, Vocals
Todd McMasters – Bass Guitars, Vocals
Ric Wilson – Electric Guitar, Vocals
Terry Domingue – Drums
by Nick McCabe – email@example.com – Front Row Photo