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Band Review

Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel
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Band Review

I saw Mike Milligan and steam Shovel out of Indianapolis at the Savannah in West Lake. We just stopped in for dinner so I didn't get to see the whole performance and I was sitting in the very back so I didn't get a real good look at their gear. They were a dead ringer for double Trouble. They were a three piece and the singer sounded exactly like Stevie Ray Vaughn. They did a lot of material other than SRV including some Allman Brothers and a number of Motown tunes but whatever they played sounded like SRV playing it.

The guitarist and singer(Mike Milligan) played an American Fender Strat with the 3 tone sunburst finish and a rosewood fret board. He played through an old silver face Fender Twin. His tone was very dark and he often used a chorus effect. He was a flawless player with excellent phrasing although every song I saw them play he had transposed to the key of G. I assume this is to accommodate his vocal range.

The Bassist was good in that he knew every nuance and every break in every song. The problem was his tone was so muddy you couldn't tell what notes he was playing. He basically just sounded like a kick drum. I couldn't see his amp but his guitar looked reminiscent of an Ibanez SR500 only in a blonde finish.

The drummer was great. I couldn't see what kind of kit he had. You would never know he was a great drummer by looking at him. He wore a plaid collar shirt and had very nerdy looking glasses. He was not a flashy player but he played off the guitar player excellently. He would get behind every lick. I'm sure this was only possible because they meticulously worked out every nuance of every song. That kind of attention to detail pays off.

Overall they were a very tight and polished band. I would have liked to see them play some more aggressive material. They were fairly low key and after a while I started getting bored. If they would build some highs and lows into their set list they would me more entertaining over the course of an entire evening. They did get good audience response and often filled the dance floor. They're PA sounded nice but it was older gear and was very large.

The Savannah has a nice stage and good stage lighting. I played there once a few years ago. This Thursday Becky Boyd will be hosting an open mic night and should be interesting for anybody who would like to attend.