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June 30, 2012 | 12:00 p.m. CST
A beer-drinking, tattoo-ridden, small but eager crowd greeted blues harmonica player and one-man band Adam Gussow at The Bridge Friday night.
The show began at 8 p.m. with the soulful, acoustic blues of local musician Jordan Thomas. People had migrated to the tables and bar, the crowd being sparse but quick to applaud at the end of each song. Gussow was already sitting out in the crowd of mostly adult couples and middle-aged men in old T-shirts and jeans, speaking with a few people by the bar.
The room was shrouded in darkness apart from the colored stage lights and bar lights, creating the perfect environment for the smooth and laid-back sounds floating out the front door.
After setting up his minimal equipment, Gussow took to the stage, wearing a simple black shirt and dark pants in front of a black backdrop. He spoke easily with the crowd, mentioning his time playing with Sterling “Satan” Magee in their band, Satan and Adam, and plugging his two albums before getting right to it. Gussow’s loud, amplified harmonica tore through the room, waking people up after Thomas’ sultry blues on the guitar.
After the first couple songs, the crowd hooted and hollered to his fast-paced harp and kick-drum action. Gussow played with real technique, switching up the songs to provide different tones, tempos and styles to keep the crowd with him.
A real treat in the show came when Gussow decided to play a song with Thomas, whom he had invited back on stage. After talking some musical jargon and deciding on a key, the two launched into a slow, soulful number. Gussow improved around Thomas’ playing, keeping and enhancing the style and tone of the song. The two fit together so well, it would seem like they had practiced and performed together several times.
While Gussow’s one-man band setup is impressive itself, the full sound of the guitar and Thomas’ obviously talented, bluesy voice added another layer, creating an incredible sound. Plus, the crowd loved it, cheering loudly after the two ended on a perfectly timed note.