The rooftop bar at the recently opened (last year) City Winery in DC is just gorgeous, with its live plants growing along the edge of the balcony, new rustic wooden tables and floor, and all the assets that being on a city rooftop has to offer, a breeze, the view, the sense of being in a secret space on top of the world. Even the neighborhood panorama looking out over a school bus parking lot is cool with all of the yellow buses lined up in rows.
Last Friday night one of the icons of American rock and roll was slated to appear here and the crowd was smiling ear to ear in anticipation. Strangers were introducing themselves amidst the friendly waitstaff. Dan Baird and Homemade Sin normally tour most regularly in Europe, but Dan Baird’s contribution to the fabric of American rock n roll history is solid and for good reason, so when the band comes to your local town, serious rock n roll fans have to turn out.
Dan Baird jumped onstage with his boyish energy and top hat to sling on his hand made Telecaster Custom from https://danocaster.com and Warner Hodges was in sync, saddling up his Les Paul. Warner Hodges is no slouch; he is the second pillar holding up this rock n roll outfit. Rhythmnists Mauro Megalland and Sean Savacool laid down the rock and roll rhythm and people in the crowd started leaning forward into the heavy grips of the spell that was being cast over the room. First up, the band played “Younger Face,” from Buffalo Nickel with Dan Baird’s familiar vocal tones energizing the room, then it was “Shake It Til It’s Sore,” from 2017’s Rollercoaster and then “Good Problem To Have” from the new album out last August, Screamer, and “Movin’ Right Along,” from Get Loud.
When MTV was in its nascent stages one of their early music videos was of the Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” with a grinning Dan Baird and the band riding around in the back of a truck, and his smile captivated the hearts of thousands of American kids, looking just like your best buddy as a teen, singing and playing in the breeze all over the screen, as the band performed the delightfully irreverent lines: “No Huggy, no kissy till I get a wedding ring.” It’s part of our archetypal rock ‘n’ roll collective soul. So when the band plays “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” on a night like tonight, or any time, it’s a tribal, cultural experience, and the audience, maybe a little grayer and some more bearded than they were when they first heard it, is up on their feet, ageless and timeless, nothing matters but this moment tapping into that memory.
Then it was back to some more dirty Georgia Satellites ’80s rock with “Myth of Love” and “Mon Cheri.” Warner Hodges plays wicked, lightning fast leads, and Dan Baird punctuates the spaces with his familiar riffs and rhythmic hooks. These guys were born to rock n roll. “Crooked Smile” came next from the band’s self titled album, then “Up In Your Kitchen,” from the newest album and people were dancing, there were the brave ones spinning across the floor in front and others dancing in their seats, leaning on pillars and bouncing around near the walls. The party feel continued all through “Julie And Lucky” (Love Songs For the Hearing Impaired), “All Over But The Cryin’” and “Little Darlin’.”
“I Love You Period” (written by Terry Anderson) brought back us to 1992 again and wound up the crowd with a relatable crush on a teacher, and then it was Warner Hodges’ “Something Like Love,” and there was more than one couple still dancing all across the floor and back again.
As the night heated up (people were drenched with sweat) and the band heated up, Dan Baird broke out in smiles and Warner Hodges did his ultra cool signature move a few times: the “round the back guitar toss” — a major crowdpleaser. The two encores, “Six Years Gone” and “Railroad Steel” had everyone including the band whipped into a frenzy. The band is known for not using a prepared setlist, so each night is a serendipitous, one-of-a-kind original.
Time moves like a blink of an eye, each gig, every day, seasons passing and years falling away, but at their core people don’t change all that much and thankfully the boy next door, rock ‘n’ roll soul energy of Dan Baird and Homemade Sin is something you can always count on. The band has a recent album out last August, you can order and catch tour dates here: https://www.danbairdandhomemadesin.net Set list is just below this video, which was placed here for your enjoyment. For an interview with Dan Baird, click here: Key to the Highway: Dan Baird
Dan Baird And Homemade Sin
1 Younger Face
2 Shake It Till It’s Sore
3 Good Problem To Have
4 Movin’ Right Along
5 Keep Your Hands To Yourself
6 Myth Of Love
7 Mon Cheri
8 Crooked Smile
9 Up In Your Kitchen
10 Julie And Lucky
11. All Over But The Cryin’
12 Little Darlin’
13 I love You Period
14 Something Like Love-Warner Hodges
15 Six Years Gone
16 Railroad Steel
Manager Mick Brown
Crew. Joe Burr