A couple weeks ago I reviewed Cold City, the new record by The Shams Band. The following week the band started their month long residency at Schubas, one of Chicago’s finest music venues. I wasn’t able to catch the first night, but I was able to make it to the second, and I’ll be there for the third. Since I’ll be reviewing next week’s show as well, I’ll be brief.
In my review I stated that this group reminds me of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers with a full-time banjo player. Nothing that I heard on Monday night changed that. In fact it was heightened by hearing some of their bluesier numbers live. Paul Gulyas’s guitar just screamed across the room, and the vocal harmonies between he and Donnie Biggins were sublime. Some of the songs I didn’t recognize because I haven’t been a fan long enough to have memorized every song, but all the stuff off Cold City that they played sounded great.
They also played a cover of The Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle Me With Care” that I wish I had recorded, because Biggins singing like Roy Orbison was so spot on it was scary. The Shams Band is certainly tight enough to sound like a supergroup, even if they haven’t hit that level yet. It isn’t for lack of talent.