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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

URI at Moe's Original Bar B Que 2


URI at Moe's Original Bar B Que 2


Alabama Music Office.com goes to Moe's Original Bar B Que in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama to attend a performance by URI. They play an infectious hybrid blend of Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz and Rock.

Uri Music Review By Thomas Trey Brooks

Uri Horton has been a staple of the live music scene in Tuscaloosa for years now. The man brings infectious grooves to a funky mix of rock and hip hop. I would even go out on a limb and say that he is the best bass player in town right now. Fronting his self-named band, Uri has played with a wide array of musicians and has been featured in most venues in Tuscaloosa, as well as some out-of-town gigs including Birmingham. I've seen many of his shows, and they are always a treat to watch.
Last Thursday, Uri played at 5 Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa. It was a small show, as the only other musician to join him was guitarist Ham Bagby. I had heard of Bagby before, but had never seen him play. Boy, was I in for a treat. He was on fire that night, stringing together blistering solos with relative ease. What surprised me was how well he and Uri played together. Both are fantastic musicians, but their individual styles are not exactly cohesive, or so I thought. Bagby has a very distinct twang to his guitar style, very Duane Allman inspired. Uri is all about backbeat, which makes since given his background in funk and rap. However, the ebb and flow between the two was completely natural and never felt uneasy. The duo clearly had a history together, which was made clear by their playful banter between songs.
The set was heavy on covers. These were wide-ranging and included "When Doves Cry," "Stand By Me," "Get Low," and "Gin and Juice," among others. It was typical Uri fare for the most part, including originals like "Monster in This Game," which Uri was apprehensive about playing without his full band. His fear was not realized as the song sounded just as good with a limited format. However, Bagby injected some country music into the fold, completely out of Uri's territory. In fact, these songs were the highlight of the night as they were a total departure from the norm, and Uri attacked them head on. There was some comedy, including one of the country songs whose lyrics I will decline to mention yet fully enjoyed. In all, the show was a pleasant surprise. While I have been a fan of Uri's for some time and have never been disappointed in his shows, they had become quite predictable over time. But not this time. This one kept me guessing, and I definitely enjoyed that.
My main point of criticism comes with the venue. 5 is a restaurant more than a bar. You can't really see the stage well from the bar, so I sat at one of the tables closer to the stage. This put me among the people cleaning up, which was a distraction from the show. There was also not much advertising for the event. I only found out about the show through happenstance, which is surprising given how well-known both performers are among the regular bar crowd in Tuscaloosa. In all, there may have been about fifteen people there, including staff. This isn't a condemnation of 5 as a whole; It just wasn't very well suited for the show that was performed. I must, however, compliment them on the d├ęcor and lighting. It surrounded the music with a good atmosphere.
Published: Planet Weekly June 2012

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