A Thanksgiving night show becoming tradition at Canal Street Tavern
By Keith Bange
Most people are pretty joyful during Thanksgiving. Surrounding yourself with friends, family and enough food to feed a pack of starved elephants is reason to send anyone into a blissful shock. Some people, on the other hand, get more excited for Thanksgiving than most could imagine because of one band. For the last two years on Thanksgiving night, at Canal Street Tavern, local jam heroes, The Werks have held Werksgiving -a night, where after you gorge yourself with holiday fare, you can gorge yourself with one of the most lively, energetic and palpitating sonic experiences that Dayton music has to offer. This year marks the third Werksgiving to be held, and with the past two years as any indicator, it should make for an amazing way to cap off the holiday.
Over the last several years, the Werks have been touring across the country, making their rounds from Nashville to Denver, laying down their groovy, funky, spine-tingling jams and in every city, shooting vibrant rainbows of sound straight through the heads of anyone lucky enough to wind up at the show. They return to Dayton every time, graciously, to a very loyal audience, having gained experience and finding themselves more and more each time, as a band.
2010 marked a very monumental year for the Werks. Years of grinding at the stone, touring and getting their name heard has started to pay off, and they are finally seeing the fruition of their hard work. After long months of conceptualizing, planning, and advertising, on the weekend of September 10th, the Werks held the first annual Werk Out.
It was two days of a monster line-up, featuring 27 acts (some of them of national caliber) – a weekend of camping and live music in a serene outdoor setting. The attendance of the festival broke 1,000 people, which met and surpassed the expectations of the band and the show’s promoters. After drawing that many people to a festival, the Werks gained a strong sense that they were indeed on to something. The sound of doors opening could be heard, and visions of bright and exciting things to come could be seen on the horizon.
They arrived at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus to finally begin to see what was hiding off in the distance. On October 23, the Werks headlined a show at the famous venue, where they finally got to experience a night that they had dreamt about for many years.
Chris Houser, guitarist for the Werks elaborates, “It was a dream come true,” he said. “Ever since I started going to shows, I always imagined what it would be like to play on that stage that I saw so many great bands play on, it was unreal.”
Opening for them were Jahman Brahman of Asheville, North Carolina, and Elemental Groove Theory of Athens, Ohio, giving this show a foundation-rattling beat that could be felt for miles. The opportunity to headline the Newport marks a milestone in many local musicians’ careers, and for the Werks, a peek into what could potentially be a very bright future in store for them.
The Werks, as a collective whole, have been playing at Canal Street for over five years now, with most of the band members having played there in various bands for well over a decade. This year’s Werksgiving promises to deliver a Thanksgiving eve more enjoyable than any. They will be accompanied by up and comers Mercury Mouth, out of Yellow Springs, who played The Werk Out, and share management under Alchemy House with The Werks. A sprightly, young quintet, Mercury Mouth have also been getting their chops, playing many shows, and gaining a quick following over the last year.
Werks keyboardist, Norman Dimitrouleas, comments, “Werksgiving is where it’s at,” he said. “Before I started playing with the Werks, I’d go out to the shows, enjoy myself and get down with everyone. It’s a great way to close out Thanksgiving and now I’m fortunate enough to play a part in it.”
Tickets to the Thursday, November 25th event are $10 and doors open at 8 p.m. So after you lay comatose from too much turkey, come out to Werksgiving at Canal Street Tavern and groove yourself back to life with great music, a cosmic light show and more smiles than you can shake a stick at.
Reach DCP freelance writer Keith Bange at firstname.lastname@example.org