On Saturday, August 10, my never-ending search for new music venues to listen to live blues, rockabilly and swing music took me down to Sarasota on the Southwest coast of Florida. At Classic Wax Bar & Café, I got my first opportunity to hear the Denver-based rockabilly, surf and swing music combo, Paul Galaxy & The Galaxtix. As it turned out, the 60-mile trek from my hotel in Tampa was well worth the trip.
Guitarist Paul Galaxy, along with the Galactix including Chris "Chopper" Cordoba (Upright Bass) and Mike "Mad Dog" Minnick (Drums), worked their way through three rapid fire sets on the first of a two night visit to Classic Wax. The band performed a great combination of original material, along several well-placed covers, like "Folsom Prison Blues," the Johnny Cash classic. The performance also included a number of exceptional instrumentals (mostly of the surf music variety) where Galaxy was really able to show off his impressive guitar skills on his bright orange Gretsch hollow body. On songs like "Tailfin" and what sounded like a solo version of the Spanish classic "Malaguenia," Galaxy's fingers flew along the fretboard leaving me amazed at his incredible talent.
The band performed songs from both of their recordings, the debut Flamethrower and their recent release, Cross The Line, along with a number of unrecorded material like the spacey "Blast Off" and "Pass Out Drunk," a song Paul introduced as being about "a girl I know." Many of the songs revolved around what Paul Galaxy identifies as his two favorite things, cars and girls. With songs like "Tailfin," "Bad Girl" and "Crazy Love," those interests were clearly reflected.
Overall, the band was very tight and together on every song. Galaxy kept up a nice rapport with the audience throughout the show that continued with some extended conversations during the breaks. The venue, Classic Wax Bar & Café, is tucked discretely into a strip mall just off of Sarasota's main drag (Highway 41) and is a small, cozy nightspot with lots of photos, records, autographs and other memorabilia on the walls. With a great band like Paul Galaxy & The Galactix on stage, my first trip to Classic Wax was a memorable one (and probably not my last).
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