by The Spin
If the jam-packed parking lot Saturday at the Mercy Lounge was any indication, Third Man’s Nobody’s Vault but Mine fan appreciation night was off to a rollicking success, despite starting at the ass crack of dusk. Mind you, turns out it wasn’t actually any indication at all. A wedding reception at Cannery was responsible for all those cars, while the modest crowd upstairs barely rivaled a good night at Mercy’s Rock 'n' Roll Trivia.
We showed up just in time to catch The Turncoats, who — as it turns out and much to our disappointment — were not a reunited incarnation of the seminal Murfreesboro band from a couple years back featuring members of How I Became the Bomb and Those Darlins. Regardless, this bashful trio brought with them a psychedelic bluesy meltdown that felt a little more energetic when we weren’t looking at the stage. A couple strategically placed kicks, spins, windmills or attitude in general can go a long way. And then there was their fatal mistake of covering Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love." The Spin has a long and arbitrary list of rules when it comes to covering songs, and following that one up with The White Stripes’ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” on this of all occasions left us not quite knowing how to feel.
Maybe we’re not as "in the loop" on local band lineup changes as we thought we were, but we couldn’t help but notice The Ettes are once again a power trio, performing without aid of lead guitarist Johnny "Shoulders" Cauffiel. Either way, they’re always a fuzzy, bluesy treat and a fitting addition to a night already chock full of blues, punk and blues-punk combinations.
In a last-minute switcharoo, former Flat Duo Jet Dex Romweber and his older sister Sara (together the Dex Romweber Duo) swapped spots with opener Jacuzzi Boys, bringing about his feature-length set a little earlier in the eve. Aside from being credited in the documentary It Might Get Loud for teaching Third Man honcho Jack White how to be “Jack White,” Romweber rips a surfy, rootsy rock 'n' roll stomp that was admittedly a bit more raw than we were expecting. Fortunately, The Spin does indeed like it raw, and apparently the biggest crowd of the evening did as well. (Speaking of Mr. White, those hoping to catch a glimpse of him or pretty much any of the Third Man all-stars were probably disappointed, as I’m sure we’d have spotted them in this thinly populated room. In fact, another Spin operative spotted "Little" Jack Lawrence over at The End watching Holly Golightly's set.)
Lastly, but not leastly, headliners-by-proxy Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys made good with a round of psych-tinged garage pop for the last-remaining mob of stragglers. Complete with slapback vocals, tumultuous bass lines and no lack of ‘verb and twang, Jacuzzi Boys do indeed bubble over with a soothing wash of psychedelic crescendos. It inspired more than a few of these surviving fans to cut a rug, and The Spin was kind of glad we stuck out the long and early evening.