Monday, May 23, 2022

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Sound Circuit

An anecdote with New Member Charles


New Member Charles plays Vaudeville Mews on Monday, April 7.

New Member Charles plays Vaudeville Mews on Monday, April 7.

New Member Charles occupies a unique space in local music. Local bands are usually either the work of serious, talented musicians trying to make some money doing what they love, or they’re a bunch of guys who wouldn’t know a barre chord from a hole in the ground and are just on stage to joke around.

But the guys in New Member Charles — bassist Chris Lachky, drummer Dan Tripp and guitarist Josh Kaufman — are the rare kind that crosses those streams: They’re a trio of truly talented musicians doing their best to joke around on stage. The fact that their music is really good while their doing it is almost secondary.

The experience of a New Member Charles show was summed up best by the boys themselves over beers the other day:

“So our first show ever, some friends of mine in Kansas City had booked this gig at a BBQ joint (Winslow’s BBQ) all summer long,” Lachky reminisced. “They were a pretty jammy group, very jazzy. Families would come down and eat while they’d play a cover of ‘Superstition.’ Stuff like that. So my buddy’s like, ‘We’ve got four hours to kill, so if you wanted to come out and take 40 minutes, that would be great.’ So we came out dressed like Ghostbusters…”

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“Replica uniforms,” Tripp clarified.

“…Replica uniforms,” Lachky continued. “Backpacks, jumpsuits the whole thing. Then our friend came out about 30 minutes into our set…”

“While we were playing ‘Enter Sandman,’ ” Kaufman cut in.

“…And started banging a tambourine,” Lachky went on. “With a sheet over his head and a bow tie.”

“He couldn’t see out of (the sheet), he just knows there’s people in this general area,” Tripp added. “So he’s getting really close to them, banging this tambourine in people’s faces while they’re eating. So when we finished, NOBODY knew what the hell to think.”

“Even our friends and family who came to see us were like, ‘Whaaaat?’ ” Lachky said.

“We didn’t have the banter thing down either,” Kaufman admitted.

“We didn’t have the SONGS down,” Lachky laughed.

At that point, their story broke down into laughter. If there’s more to the tale, it’s lost as the guys reminisce about a show that sounds like a complete clusterfuck. But, looking back on it, Lachky said, “It’s like, ‘That show was awesome,’ ” adding, “That’s exactly the reaction we want to get.” CV

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