The LooSe ShoEs Band
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The LooSe ShoEs Band

Marietta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Marietta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Pop Blues

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Loose Shoes Band at Iron Horse Steakhouse

By Mike Alton

The Loose Shoes Band took over the Iron Horse Steakhouse on Friday. They set up, plugged in, and aside from the time the band gave their friends Two Sixes to play a set, owned the room from start to finish.

Not a bad feat at all. Then again, Loose Shoes aren't your typical cover band. Their show is not some by-the-numbers recital. Instead, the band puts its own flavor into the songs, playing them in a way you haven't quite heard them before.


The Loose Shoes Band tear it up at Iron Horse Steakhouse in Holly Springs. From left: drummer Jeff Pullen, bassist Niall Brennan, and guitarists Ric and Pam Cushenan. Pam also plays keys.
Separately, the members bring differing styles to the stage. Husband and wife Ric and Pam Cushenan share guitar duties (Pam also plays keys), with Pam playing Tom Petty to Ric's Mike Campbell. Drummer Jeff Pullen has a light, almost jazzy touch that makes everything sound a bit like the Grateful Dead with a sense of purpose. Bassist Niall Brennan nails everything to the floor with basslines that are at once sneakily sophisticated and deliciously farty, much like earlier McCartney (an impression only compounded by Brennan's fiddle-body bass).

Together, the four musicians manage to sound like the elements they borrow from, while at the same time sounding nothing at all like them.

The Loose Shoes' stage presence is all early Beatles, sans the cheesy matching outfits (oh, and John's a woman). They project that bright, bubblegummy energy that had all the kids screaming back then, and it still gets the room moving. Right out of the box it is clear that the Loose Shoes aren't just paying some bills; they're enjoying themselves, and it's their goal for you to enjoy the night as well.

The show is extremely interactive. Pam is prone to grabbing her wireless microphone and venturing into the crowd, talking with people, getting


A Loose Shoes show wouldn't be the same without a pair of boots serving as planters. HGTV would heartily approve.
strangers' names and making everyone feel like they're part of the show. Dancing is strongly encouraged, as is extra percussion - a tambourine is kept down front for anyone to shake.

The Loose Shoes brought over 35 songs this evening; they were taken from a variety of sources and styles, ranging from classic (Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode") to present-day (KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and Cherry Tree"), and just about anything between.

Next to the public tambourine is a ring-binder containing a list of over 100 songs that the band has ready to go at a moment 's notice; although some planning obviously goes into the evening, they are also continually taking (and making) song requests.

The Loose Shoes' ace card, however, is their vocal work. Pam, Ric and Niall take the lead at different times, but no one voice overpowers the rest. And their three-part harmonies are astounding. The harmonies, in fact, seem to be the fire around which everything else dances. If the power were to suddenly blow out, the Loose Shoes could just sing and still put on a mesmerizing show. Fortunately, the lights stayed on, so the crowd was treated to an extremely broad sonic palette - closing with a slow-and-sweet "Harvest Moon," a lovely way to leave them dancing.

The Loose Shoes Band has a list of coming gigs as long as your arm. To find out when and where they're playing, surf to www.loose-shoes.com or www.myspace.com/thelooseshoesband.



- Gophertunes


Discography

LooSe Shoes - UnTied was released 12/04, and is available on our website: www.loose-shoes.com
under "Song List". Some tracks are highlighted and are streaming links. You can also check us out at www.myspace.com/thelooseshoesband

April 30th 2005, "Footprints" from our UnTied CD was one of six finalists for Song of the Year.

January 2008 saw the release of our new CD "Lost And Found" This 13 song CD includes 11 new songs as well as new versions of Fan Favorites "Outside My Window" and "Wicked World" from our "Loose Shoes Untied" CD. Filled with Stories of Love Lost and Love Found "Lost And Found" is Available at CD Baby or www.loose-shoes.com.

Photos

Bio

Ric Cushenan has been recording and performing since the late 80’s. With his band “Side Step” Ric performed across North East Ohio in venues like”Tommy’s River Inn” and “The Wolf at the Door”. In 1988 Ric wrote and recorded for SunBay Productions out of Clearwater Florida. This production company produced classic videos like “Lotto Fever” and “Reflections in Time”. Recorded at Clockwerk Sound Studios in Cleveland Ohio these documentaries are a must see for any collector. Influences include Peter Gabriel, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Pam Oreto Cushenan began singing gospel music with her mother and four siblings at three years of age. She inherited her brother’s electric guitar when she was ten years old and was off and running. At twelve, she spun vocal harmonies with a four-part accapella group, then moved on to rock and folk bands, playing guitar and doing vocals. She led the musical segment of a televised gospel show in Chattanooga, Tennessee during her late teens. Over the years, she's performed with many groups, such as The Hombres, Jim Vest and the Nashville Cats, and The Blue Maniacs, as well as spent many hours in the studio doing vocals for artists' demos. Her influences include Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Anne Murray, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Eric Clapton, and Billie Holiday.
Since 2002, Pam has been the soul of The Loose Shoes Band. Pam is always pushing for the tightest harmonies. With her ability to sing every harmony part to every song ever written, Pam is an absolute joy to play and sing with. Her soulful voice stands out in the crowd and her ability to bring the audience in to every performance is one of the best parts of The Loose Shoes Band.

Gypsy woman told Niall's momma, before he was born, "Got a boy child's comin', gonna be a son of a gun." Subsequent events proved the gypsy at least half right -- Niall arrived on this earthly plane in Brooklyn, New York, during the Eisenhower administration. This era also saw the birth of rock and roll, although most observers say this is mere coincidence.
During Niall's formative years, his momma played Marty Robbins' classic LP "Gunfighter Ballads" -- over and over and over. Some years later, Niall retaliated after he purchased his first LP, Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy." By this time, adolescent Niall was entirely captivated by the extraordinary range of popular music he heard on the radio: the folk explosion, Motown, the California surfin' scene, East Coast greaser rock, and, especially, the British Invasion.
Niall began to play the guitar when he turned 12, just as the creative surge in popular music began to boil over. He formed his first band when he was 13, and was soon appearing in garages all around his hometown outside New York City.
Throughout his teens, Niall was the lead singer for a variety of bands, covering everything from the hardest acid to softest country rock. At the same time honed his guitar skills as a folk soloist. He plied both trades on stages across the Northeast until he reached his mid-20s.
Then came love, then came marriage, then came Niall and a baby carriage. In the hardest decision he'd ever made, Niall put down his guitar and caught the 7:38 to Grand Central Station every morning to provide for his new family. Ah, well. Eventually, the children turned out beautifully. The same could not be said for Niall.
Still, Niall persevered. While his children have grown, he has regressed and is now having the time of his life as one-third of Loose Shoes, a band that allows Niall to combine all the musical influences of his life into one big-time sweet sound.
Just don't ask him to sing "El Paso."

On another note, you could say since Jeff's mother is a composer of classical piano music that his introduction to music started prior to birth. After birth, around the age of seven, Jeff started taking piano lessons and found that it wasn't the sound of the piano that lit his desires, but something about the smooth rhythm produced by the tickling ivories. Whether it was a result of all the Sousa being played during his birth on the 4th of July or just the tenor sound of the keys going that thump-de-thump, thump, thump, thump-de-thump Jeff found it was percussion that got him all drummed up. Therefore, at age 10 Jeff went from banging around on the piano to banging the drums.
Taking drum/percussion lessons led to the school band led from the base drum to snare drum to the quad timpani to the congas and most any other percussion instrument that required "reading" music. In 1973, Jeff started with his first band "Hardwater". Having a composer around helped not only with playing the Beetles, Grand Funk Railroad and Elvis but led to some early original compositions as well. With interests in everything from the brass bands of Tower of Power, Earth,Wind and Fire, to the old Motown classic groups like the Drifters