The more I listen to Sarah Rabdau & Self Employed Assassins, the more I hear the pop undercurrent that flows beneath their adventurous arrangements. There’s a lot that goes into their sound—so much to take in. Couple this sense of layered artistry with an engaging live performance and you have a show to remember. Like this past Friday when Sarah Rabdau & Self Employed Assassins released Free as Thieves at TT’s…
Who’s that all decked out like a scruffy Bret Michaels? Why, that’s Brian King of What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?
Backed at times by various members of The Brendan Burns Instrumental Heptad, Mr. King tore down the hits of 1988. His rendition of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” prompted the first sing-along of the night, with Nate Rogers and Rod Van Stoli jumping in on the action.
Nate Rogers, king of the MixTape series, originally billed this ensemble as The Brendan Burns Instrumental Quartet. As it turned out, there were seven players involved. Quick thinker that he is, Nate re-dubbed them The Brendan Burns Instrumental Heptad. I probably would have gone with the more obvious Brendan Burns Instrumental Septet.* Whatever the name, this group of talented players gave their own unique twist to the songs of 1988.
* Upon further review, The Brendan Burns Instrumental Heptad is way cooler.