May 312009

Last Sunday a friend and I stopped into Mark’s Pub in Falls Church VA to hear DC3. DC3 is a honky tonk trio, with drums, bass, and Vernon Santmyer on guitar. Vernon did most of the singing, but bassist Dan also sang some. Vernon also played some banjo and fiddle.

Our impressions? First, way too loud. The front two-thirds of the bar was empty, and the back third was crammed with people. No one could sit close to the band, and no one could talk to each other.

Other than the bad volume, the band was fantastic. Vernon carried on with tons of energy, singing all kinds of country classics and old sad-sack honky tonk stuff. He grabbed the banjo and whipped off a fun “Cripple Creek.” He grabbed the fiddle and did a Cajun number, then went nuts on “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” And his guitar playing was so fluid, twangy, and lively. Overall a really great country band.

People in the bar were drinking, yelling requests, having a good time. I think this bar only has live music once a week or so, which is too bad. We could use more live bands around here like this trio.

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