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Hobo Jazz
Darcie Rickert and The Ruffnecks
Aladdin Jr II – Pomona, CA

If you didn’t know, Racket’s been partnering with our buddies over at The Noise Academy to bring weekly shows to the downtown Pomona area. While March saw us having shows each Sunday, May brings us to Fridays at Aladdin Jr. II, on the corner of Second and Main Streets. Friday the 7th brought us the delightful jams of Coleslaw, Darcie Rickert and the Ruffnecks and Hobo Jazz.

A family affair of sorts, Coleslaw consists of vocalist/guitarist Matt Coleman and drummer/vocalist Chad Villareal, who also happen to share those duties for Hobo Jazz as well. For two dudes, they created a hell of a sound. Vocal harmonies layered on strong back beats and an acoustic guitar led to an unusually attentive crowd. “Thanks for being so polite,” Coleman said at one point. My only bitch about them is that they are so damned hard to find online. Their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/rawzger) hasn’t been logged into this year and only has four songs, though one of them is a cover of Akon’s “It Doesn’t Matter.”

Darcie Rickert and the Ruffnecks was up next. Rickert led a group of scallywags in plaid through Americana jams that had a range of instrumentation that included an upright bass, a banjo, guitars, and even a washboard. I hope a jug is soon introduced. Lots of cursing and drug/booze references made them a shoo-in for a band I can get behind. Engaging the audience, Rickert got lots of hoots and hollers in response to her tales of gay bars, disappointment in Sean Edwards humping of the bass and her content with there being eight balls in the band and not needing any more. (http://www.myspace.com/acousticdarcie)

Hobo Jazz saw the members of Coleslaw joined by bassist Marquis Howell. While two thirds of Hobo Jazz made up the mellow and calm Coleslaw, Hobo Jazz is a different animal altogether. Boisterous jokes, demands of cover songs that Coleman didn’t know, and hobo-freestyles led the crowd to respond in kind. With no set list set in stone, Howell asked for requests. Though inspired by the sounds of 1920’s and 1930’s jazz tunes like Louis Armstrong and Cab Callaway, it’s hard to pinpoint a genre to pigeonhole them into, so I won’t try because I’m lazy. Go to the band’s MySpace pages and scope them out for yourself. (http://www.myspace.com/hobojazz)

–Jonathan “The Emperor” Yost