On Saturday evening, Old Ironsides hosted a lineup that included Lauren Wakefield, who also plays with The Solicitors, and multi-SAMMIE award winner Crazy Ballhead, but it was The Tipsy Hustlers’ debut that I had come to see and, even though this was their first public performance since forming less than four months ago, they rocked the house with their unique blend of rock, soul, funk and a little bit of rap.
They shook out any nerves they may have had with their first number, “Remember The Good Times,” lead singer and songwriter Ken Rudulph’s look back at his first big band, Mama’s Gravy, and the times they had in local places like Old Ironsides. The song had a sweet rockin’ rhythm and blues feel to it that had the crowd groovin’ to the beat.
Next was “Go,” where Rudulph really let his vocal range be heard in a song that had a slower, more relaxed flow to its unique sound.
“Getaway” was a song Rudulph wrote that tells about the feeling that he had ruffled a few feathers in town and needed to, in short, getaway.
“Whole Lotta Soul” featured bass player John Mullick IV’s talents and the blues vibe really kicked into high gear on “Poof Pow, Be Gone” as Altimiras Lupon, or “X” as he is known in the band, got to showcase his overall skills. The song started out very soulful and slow, but allowed him to nearly get his fingers bleeding in the heavy guitar portion of the song.
Drummer John Linn never missed a beat in his role as time keeper for the band as, at times, his power reminded me of the late John Bonham. It didn’t hurt that he kind of looked like him also.
Rudulph wrote the song “Blackjack Breaker” about his son. It really showed how much in tune Mullick and Altimiras Lupon had gotten in such a short time as their combined licks steadied the song for Rudulph’s smooth vocal track.
The final and my favorite song of the night was “Pressure,” a driving, straight forward rock song that had the entire band involved at the highest level. “Pressure” has everything it takes to be a major radio hit. Rudulph’s vocal stylings, Linn’s driving beat, Mullick’s strong, steady bass and Lupon’s fluid guitar playing made this the standout song in a set that featured a variety of musical stylings.
If you missed it, you’ll want to mark the calendar for their next appearance, as this new band is only going to get tighter and more popular as they grow together.