"There's more than four people here — this is awesome!" exclaims Mark ("Harpo") Delguidice, responding to a sizable conflagration of four-to-the-floor tribes that refuse to retire on their respective reservations: to hell with fickle trends and/or the neglect that often dogs over-30s in SoCal. Harpco's julep-tinged shamble 'n' stomp spikes into the red when it roars like Crazy Horse on a bender. Ghost Town Deputies gleefully churn tight, rockin' Americana, answering yearnings for vintage Tom Petty. Cheering loudest, Joey Harris is unfazed when GTDs up the ante with the speed-racer blaze of "Kickin' Rocks" — he just wants to know if he can play past 1:00.
Fifteen minutes shy of 2 a.m., I feel like I've been rode hard and put up wet. Joey's feelin' his oats and has apparently put flames to the asses of the Mentals. He nods approvingly when Joe Longa meets his duties by slamming his head into the keys of his Hammond B3, and stands stage-edge, grinning at the spectacle of Jeff Kmak emitting walking bass lines from the floor. Harris's too-blue-for-print patter ("Isn't the drummer GREAT? I found him when I was rooting around in my drawers...and I don't mean dresser drawers") keeps us laughing between abandoned shaking to retrospective and current nuggets including "Head on a Stick," "Hideaway," and "Nights in a Dream." Shots are laid at the band's altar with venerating bows. Anyone who's missing Harris is uninformed or just plain dumb. He's the most prolific songwriter, funniest jester, and one of the most dedicated rockers in San Diego.
Concert: Joey Harris and the Mentals, Ghost Town Deputies, Harpco
Date: December 11
Seats: By the speakers