Photo Review: Suburban Home Records Tour with Two Cow Garage, Austin Lucas and others at The Social

Austin Lucas



I first caught Austin Lucas on the Revival Tour last fall (this year the tour will be in Florida November 20-22). Like the Revival Tour, musicians from the other bands dropped in on various songs during his set.


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Austin is definitely a talented singer-songwriter but he is an engaging storyteller, too. Who doesn't enjoy a good anecdote about a landlord taking out your car windows with a baseball bat because you parked too close to her car? Austin pours his soul into his songs and his latest record, Somebody Loves You, is perfect for keeping you company when you need it most.


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Two Car Garage


Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Two Cow Garage wowed me the first time I saw these guys at a pre-Fest show at New World Brewery with Drag The River. I caught them again at Fest and they delivered again. So it is no surprise that their set this evening was as inspired as ever.


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This is a band who perfectly combines what I love most about Americana and punk rock with impressive energy and a positive attitude. Their current offering is Speaking In Cursive (Shelterhouse/Suburban Home, 2008) and if you are reading this blog, you probably already have this record. If you don't, skeedaddle over to your nearest independent record store and pick it up.


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Two Cow Garage is Micah Schnabel (vocals, guitar), Chris Flint (guitar), Shane Sweeney (bass), Andy Schell (keyboards) and Cody Smith (drums).


Mike Hale


Full disclosure: I was pretty much obsessed with Mike Hale's demo of "Wasn't That You" after picking up the Suburban Home/Vinyl Collective Free Fest 7 LP, Delicious Vinyl. My friends were ready to smash/delete all copies of the song until they, too, were hooked! I can only hope there will be an equally awesome song on their Fest 8 release (mark your calendars now -- October 30-November 1 -- and check out details at http://www.thefestfl.com/fest8/). Live, Mike Hale delivered a solid set starting off with support from Austin Lucas and then performing solo for the remainder. I enjoyed hearing his new songs live.


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Mike Hale was in the now-defunct Gunmoll (Gainesville) and after his California move, he plays with In The Red. Mike Hale's new solo record, Lives Like Mine, is currently available for free download here from Suburban Home Records, so you have no excuse not to check it out right now while you read the rest of this blog.


Damion Suomi


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Damion Suomi, from Cocoa Beach, plays with Shivawn McCarthy (violin), and is backed by some supporting vocals from his sister. This is the first time I have seen them. Two tunes particularly caught my ear on the first listen, the raucous "Save Your Ass" and sing-along "San Francisco." I look forward to listening to the new record and also seeing them again at Summer Jam 5.


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A common objection of musicians on the quiet side is having to play over the conversational din of the venue. Some bigger bands like Yo La Tengo can get away with telling the audience to shut up or they won't play. Two of the musicians this evening complained multiple times about people taking during their set. Ironic, because I definitely witnessed those same artists talking at the bar during the other bands' sets. While I have sympathy for someone playing their heart out to people who are distracted, I suggest that the best way to get people to focus on your music is to be engaging and interesting, not try to shame people into paying attention. Especially because the reaction of drunk people being shamed is often to be even more loud and obnoxious. However, I am generally on the musicians' side on this issue since I find it incredibly irritating when I can't hear a band that I have traveled across the state/region/country to see. What are your thoughts?


Next up for Tampa Bay area Americana fans: Geri X's Video Release Party with Eric McFadden, Thomas Wynn & The Believers & Have Gun, Will Travel at Crowbar Friday, August 21st. Thx Mgmt's 5th Annual Summer Jam features a bunch of great bands including This Honorary Life, Cory Branan, Damion Suomi, The Beauvilles, and Guiltmaker on Saturday, August 29, at Crowbar and New World Brewery. See you there!


For more photos, please visit the following links:






The Suburban Home Records Tour featuring Austin Lucas, Two Cow Garage, Mike Hale, and Damion Suomi took The Social by storm this past Thursday, August 6. It was definitely worth the drive from Tampa to see this outstanding Americana line-up.

(More photos and info after the jump.)

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