Monday, January 2, 2012

Make way for Uncles

Nobody has as much fun as a drunken uncle, right? At least that's the impression left when Tom Hurley and Robin Steiger come together as the acoustic duo, the Drunken Uncles.

As the Drunken Uncles, Hurley and Steiger tap a thick songbook of tunes, stuff ranging from classic rock staples to singer-songwriter chestnuts to fan suggestions; these guys can get you from Pete Townshend to Kenny Chesney in the course of a night's work.

"If people suggest something to us that is popular right now, most often we'll check it out, see what it's like to play," Hurley says. "But we still have to like it to play it."

The Drunken Uncles bring their "All Your Favorite Songs" show to the Coppertop Thursday, starting at 8. The duo kicks off this week's entertainment schedule which also includes Trebek on Friday, Five Hole on Saturday, and Brian & Captain on Sunday afternoon.

Hurley and Steiger began Drunken Uncles while both were in the band Joe Rockhead. Hurley formed Joe Rockehead as a vehicle for his original  songs, and Steiger was the band's lead guitar player during its final years together.

The Uncles click as performers, as Hurley's husky vocals can play off of Steiger's fleet guitar picking that at goes bluesy, jazzy and funky at turns. They also take advantage of their broad musical tastes to bring in material that spans songs from Toad the Wet Sprocket to Bruce Springsteen. 

The two first played together in the late-80s rock band Blynd Dryve (Hurley still getting a kick out of the utter 80-ness of using "y" in place of "i" in the band's name). The two dabbled in a couple of other projects before Hurley headed off to form Joe Rockhead and concentrate on his songwriting.

Joe Rockhead produced four albums between 1995 and 2002, each a well-received blast of surging, melodic rock.

When Drunken Uncles went from side gig to routine booking for Hurley and Steiger, they incorporated some of Hurley's original material into the set. Hurley also says he finally just snapped a dry spell of writing and has new originals in the works. Who knows, maybe one of those will become your very own new favorite song.


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