Concert Review: Scruffy & The Janitors / The Factory Workers at The First Ward House in St. Joseph, MO 11/30/12

Scruffy & The Janitors album release poster.

Scruffy & The Janitors album release poster.

It’s the crowning achievement for a band; there is no show more special than an album release party. The excitement and buildup of the evening is the payoff of countless hours of writing, practice and recording. Scruffy & The Janitors cashed in on their hard work $10 at a time at The First Ward House on November 30th by selling their recorded music for the first time.

Pino was officially unveiled and sold to a very good response. The bartenders at The First Ward would be running around frantically trying to keep the crowd’s thirsts quenched at the packed pub. Many musicians filled the large crowd including the whole band Radkey, nearly all of Missouri Homegrown, Marcus Words, country musicians Aaron Blumer and Casey Brett and of course opening act The Factory Workers.

The Factory Workers performing at the First Ward House in St. Joseph, MO.

The Factory Workers performing at the First Ward House in St. Joseph, MO.

The Factory Workers would pound out their standard high volume set. They are a Kansas City duo but feel like a St. Joseph band because they come north so often; they even played Joestock. They have a heavy, blues guitar sound coated with thunderous drums and loud cymbal crashes. Their sound is nicely summed up by their cover of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” that they did in the style of Cream’s version.

The Factory Workers sound would be less abrasive than their recent St. Joseph shows. They would still have their vocals muddied by thick guitar licks and pounding drums but would have possibly their best local show in a year. Originals like “My Main Man, Man” were solid and are feeling more familiar the more they play in town. The crowd responded well to the band which was an accomplishment because they were playing in front of several new faces and they definitely won over new fans.

The fuzz guitar of “Post Meridian” by Scruffy & The Janitors would be the next music the crowd would hear as they would begin performing their entire record Pino, as sequenced on the album. With friends and family looking on they emphatically tore through their blues filled numbers. Guitarist Teriq Newton would stomp on the bar’s hard wood floors while using his long blonde hair and the tails of his paisley shirt as weapons in the band’s visual show.

Scruffy & The Janitors officially unveiling their first album Pino at The First Ward.

Scruffy & The Janitors officially unveiling their first album Pino at The First Ward.

The songs from the record would be highlighted by Teriq Newton putting down his guitar and blowing his harp on “Use Me Up” and the sweet serenade “Rosie” by lead singer Steven Foster as a solo acoustic performance. Drummer Trevin Newton, who is the most improved musician in the band over recent months, even got a chance to shine with a short but sweet drum solo before “Use Me Up.”

The post-Pino part of the set would include three covers and three originals. The new song “Harry Truman” once again impressed and appears to be bound for the group’s sophomore album. They would get a well deserved encore and after having to wait for the band to set up for a bit the crowd would be rewarded with a quiet, sincere cover of The Avett Brothers’ “I Would Be Sad” with Trevin stepping out from behind his drum kit to play mandolin.

Scruffy & The Janitors first album, Pino is now available at a couple locations. I recommend you stop by the Cafe Acoustic on December 8th and pick one up after listening to the boys make some noise. If you can’t make it there, swing by St. Joseph’s favorite record store The Lucky Tiger and pick up a copy.

Scruffy & The Janitors setlist from 11/30/12 at The First Ward House in St. Joseph, MO:

  • Post Meridian
  • Know It All
  • There’s A Ghost
  • Stick Around
  • Plain Jane
  • Use Me Up
  • Rosie
  • Poor Boy
  • I Will Pick You Up
  • Dupe
  • Crow Jane (Skip James cover)
  • Dirty Hands
  • Blue Balls
  • She Don’t Use Jelly (Flaming Lips cover)
  • Harry Truman
  • I Would Be Sad (The Avett Brothers cover)
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