Ten Cent Lure caps year with debut, two-night gig
A band with a laser strobe light, smoke machine and purple amp that goes to 11 has a new item to bring to its shows ” a CD.
Ten Cent Lure will celebrate its debut album, “Trollin’,” on Friday and Saturday nights at the Divided Sky in Meyers.
Just a year and a couple of weeks since it formed, the band put together a solid nine-track CD with four- to five-minute songs, which contrasts its longer live, improvisational outputs. Influences of Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, Frank Zappa and the Black Crowes are apparent in what is generally thought of as a jam band.
“I consider us more of a rock band that jams,” said Jason Sherman, who uses the Saldano amp with a customized “Spinal Tap” paint job.
Ex-North Carolinian Sherman and fellow guitarist Sean Groover, a native of Georgia, give the band a Southern flavor, which blends with Northern California stylings from bassist Chad Oleson and “Fuzzy” John Oxendine, who plays drums, percussion, washboard and an appropriate amount of cowbell.
Oxendine, 62, is a living piece of rock ‘n’ roll history coming out of the San Francisco psychedelia scene of the sixties. He played on a Moby Grape album and later with the Jerry Miller Band, and has jammed with numerous San Francisco bands such as Sons of Champlin, Boz Scaggs and Santana. He became proficient on the washboard playing in a zydeco band called the Sundogs.
“Playing with Fuzzy is more than inspirational,” said Oleson, whose friendship with Oxendine’s son led to Fuzzy’s inclusion to the band that formed near Thanksgiving 2006.
The improvisational style suits Oxendine, who noted that the songs start in the same place before leading in other directions, “But you’ve got to catch the bus at this point,” he said. “You get intuitive after a while and start thinking like the others think.”
The intuition has sharpened during the band’s year together with the philosophy of the rewards of risks are worth occasional musical train wrecks.
Some of Ten Cent Lure’s highlights for the year were playing at the Lake of The Sky and Earth Day festivals, Aqua Boogie cruise aboard the Tahoe Queen, the Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest in Squaw Valley, the Moosapaloosa Angora fire benefit, and playing with On The One at Coopers in Nevada City and with Delta Nove at the Mount Tallac Brewery.
“We made steps to become a good local band, now we want to become a great local band and a regional band,” Sherman said.
The greatest thrill came in August, when Ten Cent Lure opened for the Jerry Miller Band at a festival in the Santa Cruz mountains. Miller, No. 68 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 100 guitarists of all time, joined Oxendine for the show, as well as Tiran Porter and Dan Ockerman, who both played with the Doobie Brothers.
“I’m still nervous thinking about it,” Sherman said.
Oxendine was impressed with the lyrics of songwriters Groover and Sherman.
“They draw a line in the sand and say ‘This is me,’ ” he said. “It’s poetically in your face.”
Adam Northway of the band Absynth contributed percussion and electric percussion on “Trollin’,” while Ten Cent Lure’s original keyboardist, Tim Roberts, played some Rhodes and Wurlitzer piano.
Drummer Mike Wilder, who had to leave the band to meet other obligations, donated the use of his digital recording equipment setup in the studio at Sherman’s home in Meyers. Wilder also contributes some hip-hop verses on “City,” written by Alex Lyons, who played with Groover and Oleson in the band Waterhouse.
Ten Cent Lure started “Trollin’ ” with 12 tracks and narrowed it to nine. The songs were put in the order of what could be a set list for a show. Any of the tracks live can take off improvisationally in a live setting.
Like the live shows, the sound is tight and unpretentious but nevertheless comes across with a sense of urgency that get folks on their dancing feet. The album ends with a Groover tune called “Rise Again,” which indicates that Ten Cent Lure will come back with more.
“I wouldn’t mind starting another one in a few months,” Groover said. “We have a lot of material.”