Review by Seth Rogovoy
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Straight-ahead good old American original bash-and-pop rock ‘n’ roll is hard to come by these days, but Trapper Schoepp & the Shades proved it’s still alive – at least in Milwaukee, Wisc. – in their show at Club Helsinki Hudson on Monday night.
The quintet – featuring Trapper Schoepp on lead vocals and guitar; his brother Tanner Schoepp on bass guitar; Jon Phillip on drums; Graham Hunt on lead guitar; and a pianist who may have been producer Daniel McMahon, kicked off their set with a rollicking attack of Replacements-style rock, equally heavy on forward-propelled energy and giddy melodicism.
They played songs about cars, baseball, breaking up, getting together, and letting go, a number of which belied their youthful innocence. In their softer tunes and some of their rootsier numbers, they offered a hint of The Band; when they were coming on stronger, early Bob Seger and the Rolling Stones were obvious touchstones.
They were a blast to watch, and they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on. And definitely worth checking out next time they’re in town.
The Double-D’s, one of several house bands emerging from the creative ferment that is the Helsinki Hudson cultural and culinary laboratory, warmed up the crowd with a set of their original country-folk tunes. The core of the group is Deborah and Damara, sharing guitar and vocal duties and often harmonizing. Deborah sings jazzy melodies that take listeners to unexpected places with an Appalachian twang; Damara’s vocals are pristine, almost transparent, even angelic. Bo Hammond sat in a number or two, lending some honkytonk piano to the mix. The group – perhaps aided by a full band next time out – returns to the Helsinki stage on Friday, December 27, on a co-bill with New York City-based folk-rock singer-songwriter Milton.