Review: Lubriphonic at The Mousetrap

Lubriphonic boasts an impressive lineup comprised of some of Chicago’s finest musicians. They’ve played alongside distinguished blues icons such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Johnson, Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, and more- learning experiences that have no doubt influenced their special sound. Further inspired by the remaining pillars of Chicago music- funk, soul, and rock n’ roll- the band has created a unique blend of talent and musical creativity that has the potential to shake listeners to their core.

Unfortunately, a lot of The Mousetrap regulars were out of town at the Greenstock music festival in south-central Indiana last weekend when The Lube made a trip down to Indy from The Windy City. I was glad to see the group booked at an appropriate venue with the potential to draw a crowd; regrettably, it was a case of bad timing that left they typically-packed bar looking somewhat sparse on a Saturday night.

Despite low attendance, Lubriphonic’s enthusiasm and zest were not on reserve and they performed to their crowd with much excitement. My favorite part of the show came during the band’s second set when lead vocalist Giles Corey began a song with the classic Christopher Walken line from SNL, “I’ve got a fever… and the only prescription is more cowbell.” Corey continued to add instruments layer by layer on top of a repeating, unique cowbell ring- first bass, then drums, and finally the horn section.

Before I knew it, the song had built itself into a full blown jam with the trumpet on blast and the cowbell ringing as if the fate of the world depended on it. Suddenly, I felt so moved by the intense soul music that I imagined myself in the middle of the rambunctious church scene from the movie The Blues Brothers. Chicago blues has a detectable sound all its own, and I instantly felt connected to the city’s nostalgic rock’n’roll in that moment of blissful music-making. Additional highlights included a version of “Rhino” packed with plenty of false endings that kept the audience guessing and the groovy, funky “Whiskey and Chicken Wings”.

A friend on the dance floor kept turning to me to express her supreme astonishment, but could never find any words other than “They are soooo gooooood,” to convey her feelings. Admittedly, I was left speechless as well. The only question that was left in my mind after leaving the show was why Lubriphonic wasn’t playing The Slippery Noodle instead. To me, the blues mecca of Indianapolis feels more suitable for the band’s traditional style, not to mention a sophisticated crowd of downtown clientele who might value a Lubriphonic performance more than the alternative Mousetrap troop.

Regardless, Lubriphonic brought the funk, and I have no doubt they’ll bring it again next time.

Lubriphonic’s recent performance at the All Good Music Festival where they marched from a stage in the campgrounds to the main concert bowl.