Part two of Acoustic Week. Are you ready to rock?!
Live @ Grimey’s
September 14th, 2004
The entire band went unplugged for their Exhibit A record release show at beloved Nashville music store, Grimey’s. The wheezy keyboards, jolly bass and clickity-clack drumming make most all of these tunes downright huggable, and “Stagecoach” is no exception.
I love “Stagecoach.”
Live @ The Boro
May 2nd, 2002
If you haven’t yet fallen in love with “Stagecoach,” please spend all of June doing so. It’ll be a great relationship, trust me. I’ve been in love with this song since I first got this very demo nine years ago and it has never let me down. So sincere and quiet, yet so rollicking and freewheeling. The best.
Also a note about the May 2nd, 2002 show, and that particular period in the band’s history: they played 27 songs that night. Twenty. Seven. Have you ever heard of an unsigned band doing that before? Playing nearly thirty original songs to a crowd that not only knows every word to every unreleased song, but not only tolerates but celebrates spending two hours in a sweat soaked dive like the Boro? And the songs in rotation then! Present were the newer Buffalo Head era of songs mixed in with the Mahaffey Sessions and The Beginning era of songs, with a cover of Wings’ “Jet” and old favorite “Paid To Think” to boot.
Today’s request comes from me, as this is one of My Top 10 Features Songs.
Live @ The Red Rose
February 28th, 2003
“Stagecoach” sounds like the perfect blend of the old west and science fiction. With that guitar part and otherworldly keyboard, the opening of this song chugs along at top speed straight off the dusty ol’ train tracks and straight into orbit. From there the verses are all technicolor emotions, classic sentiments and worries backed with a twang-filled guitar played at rock and roll speeds. The mellow build-up to that darn beautiful chorus is somethin’ wonderful, with every beat of Rollum’s drum sounding so careful and delicate. Then the second verse comes in. The start-stop rhythm in the second verse is further proof that the entire band is a tight unit. They can stop on a dime! The guitar solo that follows is pure rock and roll sci-fi. Pelham sounds like he’s battling off spooky ghosts (or relationship demons) with the power shooting out of his guitar-shaped weapon, playing every note he knows without caution in an attempt to save his life. It’s epic stuff! For all of these reasons, “Stagecoach” has become one of my favorite Features songs. You can even hear me yelling “thank you” to the band at the end of this track.
“Stagecoach” was first demoed with Brent Rawlings back in 1999 after Rollum joined the band. I’m pretty sure the song doesn’t pre-date Rollum. The version demoed in 1999 had the same unique opening as the one that would go on to be played live, but the song’s structure and most of the music in the recording is different and much quieter. The lyrics are mostly the same. I’m not sure when this version debuted, but this would be the version played during the majority of its lifetime. By the time I became a fan and by the time my database starts (2001), “Stagecoach” had apparently fallen out of regular rotation. It would remain a semi-special treat for the next four years. The band would play it at a couple concerts and then usually take two-to-four months before playing it again. This pattern continued until April 2004 when the song would then go on a five month hiatus until being played again in September 2004. The last time “Stagecoach” was known to have been played was on April 1st, 2005.