In 1991, when St. Louis native, Ozark Mtn. Daredevils bassist and Nashville songwriter, Michael Supe Granda (a.k.a. Supe duJour) walked into a small, south St. Louis nightclub, his eyes opened wide. As he spent the evening at the Venice Café, not only was he pleasantly surprised with the cool bohemian atmosphere and creative environment, he was impressed with the artistic community of painting, poetry and music that was thriving within the walls and courtyards of this historic, three-story building. When he approached owners, Jeff Lockheed and Pahl Cuba about bringing in a little band to play, both gladly consented.
For the preceding fifteen years, Supe had been a contributing member in a free-form musical conglomerate, the Garbonzos. Based in Springfield, Missouri, their convivial, free-wheeling approach was a carbon copy of what was going on at the Venice. When the gig came around, the entire Venice family gathered to hear the band play their off-beat brand of polkas, traditional bluegrass, jug band and novelty tunes. The place exploded into Mardi Grasesque fits of jubilation. This first gig led to a second, which lead to a third, which has culminated into a 19-year relationship. “Never has there been a more perfect pairing of venue and performer”, cites Lockheed.
In the fall of 2009, when it came time for the band to record the follow-up record to their critically acclaimed first album, Eat Our Beans, a ‘live’ recording was the natural and logical answer. On a September evening, they hauled in a recording rig to capture the spontaneity of the band, which has always been – and remains to this day – one of the band’s major calling cards.
Of the fourteen songs, eleven are original compositions, scattered among Supe, accordionist Chris Slatinsky, washboard and fiddler, John Ehlers and guitarist, Tim White. All are of the very high-energy nature that, not only characterizes the Garbonzos, but the Venice Café, as well. It’s time to let your hair down, put on your dancing shoes, grab a cold beverage and throw your cares out the window. The Garbonzos are in town.