Rocker David Hull blows the roof off Players!

Live music review by Pale Rider.

School of Rock! Hull w/ Charlie Farren and Jon Butcher. Michael Sparks Keegan photo.

If you missed David Hull Band at Player’s last Saturday night, May 26 (and I KNOW you did, because I was there and I didn’t see you!), you missed a rare opportunity to see a genuine, died-in-the-wool rocker do his thing, right here in ‘Vegas. Hull put on a high-volume clinic on how real rock and roll is written and performed. It was a night Pale Rider won’t soon forget, because the show was outstanding; and by that I mean it literally stood out from the wallpaper of other predictable, posing (and boring) cover-band fodder you get around these parts.

In the unlikely event you’re not familiar with David Hull, here’s the skinny. The guy has been on the fringes, just outside of the white-hot spotlight of rock stardom for 40 years.  The phrase “almost famous” totally comes to mind in this story. He has played bass with, and in some cases written songs for, Aerosmith, Joe Perry, Buddy Miles, Ted Nugent and many others. He was an original member of the Joe Perry Project and Farrenheit. As a teenager, he toured and recorded with the legendary drummer and soul-man Buddy Miles for three years. Buddy, if you recall, played drums behind both Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. So just think about this for a minute: One of the great soul/funk/rock drummers of all time picks this skinny white kid from CT to be his bass-player. Really? Wow. What does that say about David Hull’s talent? Criminy!

The list goes on: The Cars’ Eliot Easton, Boston’s Barry Goodreau, and guitar-hero Jon Butcher  have all gone toe-to-toe on stage with David Hull.

David Hull on stage with some other dude.

In 2006, when Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton could not go on tour with the band  because he was fighting cancer, who did the ‘Smith call to take over the bass position? None other than Mr. David Hull. When Perry re-formed the Joe Perry Project for an album and a tour in 2009, it was a no-brainer to bring in Hull, who not only played, but contributed songwriting and production chops to the project, as well.

In recent months, David has done the same for veteran blues icon James Montgomery; both playing bass with his band as well as producing JM’s latest CD.

Like a musical Wizard of Oz, Hull pulls levers just behind the scenes while another artist takes the spotlight.

David is not only a killer bassist and rock singer/songwriter, he is also a great lead guitarist. On a typical live gig, he switches back and forth between bass and guitar with seamless ease.

All of this immense talent was on display right here in ‘Vegas this past Saturday. With a crack band of veteran players along side of  him, including his brother Chris Hull, Dave ripped through two full sets of rock and soul  (taking one short break with 3 minutes left in the Celtic’s game 7 win to let the Players crowd revel in the victory).

Highlights of the night were Hull originals, “Pay Some Attention” and “Soul in Motion” along with many notable covers, including a blues-ified version of Aerosmith’s “Sick as a Dog,” and a pumping rendition of Buddy Miles’ “Changes,” featuring brother Chris on the lead vocals. “Buzz Buzz,” a hit Hull wrote for Joe Perry’s first solo album, was another high moment.

Rocking like Hull: Dave w/ guitarist Pete Cassani at Players. Michael Sparks Keegan photo.

Finishing the night with an abbreviated but muscular set were Hanover’s Rock Star Posers, always a rock-solid act.

Overall, it was was night not to be missed, and I know you missed it. So NEXT TIME David Hull Band comes anywhere near RockVegas, if you have a rockin’ bone left in your body, you better Pay Some Attention!

Hull’s “Pay Some Attention” video.

Video on the making of Joe Perry’s “Have Guitar Will Travel” CD

Player’s Upcoming Live Music Calendar

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