Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang made a stop at the Belly Up in Solana Beach on Thursday, June 12. The country picking pair is yet another unique solo project from Primus mastermind and bass guru Les Claypool.
Openers Reformed Whores, a New York City comic folk duo, were a nice bit of foreplay for Claypool’s set. Their dirty songs got everyone in the mood for the main act. Marie Anderson and Katy Frame are both talented multi-instrumentalists with a flair for dirty rhymes and folky comedy. They made new fans out of many people in the audience and reminded everyone that “Girls Poop Too.”
As their name would imply, Duo de Twang features only two members: Bryan Kehoe playing a resonator guitar and Les Claypool playing a unique resonator bass. Slapping, picking, smacking, and thumping, Claypool always manages to get amazing sounds out of any instrument he is manipulating. The twangy resonator instruments’ sound bordered on bluegrass but played with rock and roll intentions.
In this band, Claypool focuses on playing original songs, covers from his own favorite bands like Alice in Chains, as well as adaptations of classic Primus tunes like “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” and “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver.” The very skilled Kehoe for his part managed to keep up well, interpreting many of these songs in unexpected and fascinating ways.
The audience in Solana Beach was a heavy mix of Primus and Claypool aficionados who were willing to line up early to catch this show. The Belly Up is such a fantastic venue for this type of act, where you can get a truly intimate performance with great sound. Catching any of Claypool’s many projects is a sure bet for a fun evening of face-melting bass skills.