The Minivans

The Main Street Public House in Philmont is a gem. Granted, it’s a bit scratched up and might not be as shiny as other “gems”, but that doesn’t take anything away from the place. In fact, that only adds to it’s appeal. The Main Street Public House is like a “gem” that was dug up by the dirty, calloused hands of a farmer… It is the real deal when it comes to old Americana country pubs. It’s a place where people gather for good music, good beer, and good times. The Public House supports local bands (as well as some really great bands from out of state, as they pass through), and they support local farms and businesses. All the produce used in the food served at The Public House is organic (so are the fruits used in the mixed drinks), and it comes from local farms. So does the beef and other meats, which are all organic as well, and are grown without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

I saw “The Minivans”, as the band calls themselves, at The Main Street Public House last night. The Minivans don’t really play together as a band very often, but are more of an interconnected hybrid of musicians. Six degrees of seperation? Try none. Let me explain. The members of The Minivans are Jim Krewson, Seth Travins, Lucas Schwartz, and Nick Haley, with special guests Pete Adams on lap steel guitar, and Kiki Dufault on vocals and guitar. That was last night’s line-up anyway… Now for the connections among all the members: Jim Krewson was in a band called “Jim and Jennie & The Pinetops.” Jennie Benford was in the band with him, and later went on to become a member of The Crooked Jades. A musician named Adam Tanner was in The Crooked Jades along with Jennie, and Adam filled in for Kip Beacco of The Hunger Mountain Boys last year when Kip’s wife had their second child. The Hunger Mountain Boys sing a song called “Mt. Saint Helens” on their album “Three,” which Jennie Benford wrote. Matt Downing, who currently plays with The Hunger Mountain Boys and The Blue Ribbon Boys, was also in Jim and Jennie & The Pinetops with, well, Jim and Jennie. (There was also a fourth member in Jim and Jennie & The Pinetops, Brad Hutchison, but he doesn’t have any other connections with the rest of these bands). Seth Travins is Matt’s fellow band member in The Blue Ribbon Boys. (Seth has also been playing upright bass for a contra dance band called The Russet Trio, but that’s beside the point. Sounded good to add it in though…). Jim Krewson used to play in the The Blue Ribbon Boys, as the drummer, before he left the band and Nick Haley took over (Jim stills fills in from time to time). Lucas Schwartz is in The Blue Ribbon Boys too! In addition, he wrote the song “Cold Feet” which is on The Hunger Mountain Boys’ second album. And that’s not even mentioning Teddy Weber… He wasn’t playing last night, but he’s in The Hunger Mountain Boys and The Blue Ribbon Boys, as well as a third band called “The Wiyos”…..

You get the picture.

So anyway, back to last night. It was an absolute blast! The Minivans sang an odd mix of music. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and of course, band member originals… But somehow it worked. They played swing numbers, two-steps, waltzes, ballads… I think my favorite song of the evening was a cajun waltz which Jim Krewson wrote, called “Don’t Shit On My Heart.” With a name like that, how could I not love it? Jim Krewson is the man. I love all of the songs he writes… The whole band sounded really great together, and The Main Street Public House was the perfect setting to see them in. I mean really, is there anywhere else in the world where the doorman gets paid in sauerkraut??? I think not.


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