I am trying really hard to make good on my goal to see more, new local bands this year, and Gambling The Muse is one of those bands — apparently, according to my Photojojo time capsule this week, I actually saw them play at the Dylan vs. Petty benefit last year, but that evening ended with me and shep. feeding the jukebox at the Cave dollars so I could play Leonard Cohen songs and I think that was one of the nights I yelled at Jay about being wrong on the internet about the Orioles, so the fact that I don’t remember seeing them isn’t entirely surprising.
My point being: I have seen Daniel Snyder front a bunch of bands, but until last night I hadn’t ever really seen him front his own band, and I was delighted by what I got to see. I’m deeply, deeply smitten by Daniel’s voice — he’s got one of the best voices in the Triangle, just rich and deep and shivery, and he knows how to deliver a song like nobody’s business. He’s playing with a great bunch of musicians now, too — I mean, for God’s sake, the drummer drove in from Johnson City, Tennessee the day of the show, self-admittedly couldn’t hear anybody during the set, and still sounded fantastic — and Gambling The Muse is just one of those local bands that I can now tell you will always put on a solid set. Sometimes they’ll be great — but they’ll never be a disappointment. They’re great musicians and Daniel’s a phenomenal songwriter, and they do this Gambling The Muse/Magnolia Collective/whoever’s around cover of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” that just makes my heart ache with how much I love it.
Steph Stuart & the Boyfriends and the Pneurotics played, too, but it was about negative 20 degrees in the Nightlight last night so I didn’t shoot either of them; I was huddled on a red velvet couch for warmth.