About a year ago, I was hanging out at in a South Miami bungalow with a few wild peacocks and fellow musical miscreants when Juke singer Eric Garcia whipped out his laptop and introduced me to the oddball one man band know to the world as Phillip Roebuck.
The first thing that distinguishes Roebuck from your average guy who plays a stringed instrument and kicks something to keep time, is that his performances occur standing up. This is thanks to a bizarre, stirrup-like contraption of Roebuck's invention that connects his feet to a tiny bass drum strapped to his back. Every time he takes a step with his right foot, he hits the bass drum. Each time he makes a step with his left foot, he smacks a tambourine. This makes for a hunchback-from-notre-dame stance, and a pimpish gait that is hard to take your eyes off.
While Roebuck's gimmick keeps your eyes busy, his unique slide banjo technique and vocals that harken back to early 20th century country blues make for a nice musical meal. It's a dish Roebuck's been serving to subway commuters in NYC for a decade. From that busking base, he's launched into a 24/7 touring career in both the small clubs you'd expect him in and giant festivals like England's All Tomorrow Parties.
Tonight, Thursday, May 12th -- Phillip Roebuck plays The Stage, 170 38th St, Miami. Joining him are Garcia's OMB act, Uncle Scotchy, and the Wholetones. Showtime is 10PM. For more info go to: The Stage's website.
Phillip Roebuck is also playing The Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale, on Sunday, May 15th with Lone Wolf OMB.