Shotgun Party back at The Main Street Public House

Gracing the Main Street Public House in Philmont, NY on Thursday night was Shotgun Party, an exuberantly energetic powerhouse of a band. Based of out Austin, TX, Shotgun Party is a fine medley of killer fiddle, soothing guitar, gorgeous vocals, and percussive bass. The band plays badass bluegrass, swing, and gypsy music, yet in a curiously endearing manner.

Each of the three times I’ve seen Shotgun Party there has been a different bassist. The first time I saw the band was at Jason’s Upstairs in Hudson, NY and Christopher Crepps was playing. He was the original bassist for Shotgun Party but stopped touring with them because he didn’t want to leave his family for extended amounts of time. The second time I saw the band was at The Main Street Public House, and bassist Jared Engel was filling in for Christopher during tours outside of Texas at that point. The bassist this time was Andrew Thomas Austin-Petersen. Andrew is the band’s new bassist, now a permanent fixture in the splendor that is Shotgun Party. Andrew, Jenny Parrott, and Katy Rose Cox have been playing a lot of shows together and, although Shotgun Party was never less than great, after Thursday’s show I was ultimately rendered speechless. Part of the reason why was because of how impressive they were, while the other part was because I was having so much fun I couldn’t stop smiling — it’s a little hard to talk when your cheeks are stretched as wide as mine were…

The musicians were wearing matching outfits, but each had their own individual style and variation on a theme of red. They always color coordinate what they wear, a charming fact that I forgot. The band plays and sings fun swing numbers, fiery tangos, and mysterious waltzes, and all the songs performed on Thursday were made more exciting by eerie lighting set up at the pub courtesy of the band. Topics among the songs included cowboys, love, and…pickled eggs! Indeed. I love a good offbeat band, and Shotgun Party most definitely is just that. As for the music itself, a lot of the tunes are catchy without having the slightest hint of earworm (a song that gets stuck in your head) annoyance to them. Jenny plays guitar and is the lead singer of the band. She has an adorable yet sophisticated voice, a rare duality, and she and Katy have lonesome sister vocals even though they’re not related. Andrew has a pleasing voice, singing lead on a few songs, and was amazing on bass. He creates distinct percussive sounds with his instrument and has a unique way of playing it. Katy is honestly one of the most incredible fiddlers alive today, and watching her go wild with her instrument is both exhilarating and slightly terrifying at the same time. I’m not at all superstitious yet I can’t help but feel as though she might be conjuring the devil when she plays, and I mean that as the most generous of compliments.

The band played three healthy sets, each one chock full of delightful songs. At the beginning of the third set, musician and Shotgun Party friend Seth Travins joined Jenny and Katy for a song, and Andrew joined the audience and danced. Later in the third set Seth took up bass a few more times, Andrew stepping out into the audience again and dancing with various people. In addition to being a great bassist he’s an excellent dancer! He caused a ruckus on the dance floor with his two-stepping, swing dancing, girl twirling moves. As the night went on the atmosphere at the Public House got more relaxed, and by the end of the night nearly the entire packed pub was dancing. It was hard to resist the power of the music, for it kept increasing in brilliance. Rising above all my preconceived notions of greatness, Shotgun Party delivered one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended.

Here are two videos from the show:

Shelly Swore

Yell Out The Chords

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