Quixote’s True Blue on 21st and Lawrence is a breath of fresh air after a Saturday morning filled with college football. It is very refreshing to walk into a bar and see only two TVs, which are obviously not the main source of entertainment. In this day and age when sports bars are king and there seems to be a competition to see who can fit the most flat-screen TVs into one place, Quixote’s refuses to conform. In a modern sports bar, the decor is usually trying to replicate something, jamming the walls full of “vintage” signs and the like. But at Quixote’s, they struggle to find room on the walls that are already packed full of everything from Phish stickers to old custom license plates from almost every state reading things like “Dedhead.” Quixote’s is unapologetic about being a “hippie” bar, and that is precisely which makes the place so interesting and inviting for someone seeking something different.
Lightnin’ Malcolm and Cameron Kimbrough get the crowd moving.
The number of stages at Quixote’s matches the number of TV’s, and on this particular night it was Lightnin’ Malcolm on one stage, and later, Poor Man’s Whiskey on the other that kept the crowd movin’ and groovin’. Lightnin’ Malcolm, accompanied by drummer Cameron Kimbrough, started the night of music on the outside stage. The music of Lightnin’ Malcolm spans across many genres, from rock ‘n’ roll to blues to funk. Just when you think you have him pinned down as a soulful southern rocker, he mixes things up with upbeat funk that makes it nearly impossible not to tap your foot.
The small outside patio illuminated with Christmas lights creates a very intimate setting for the musicians. Three wooden picnic tables are the only thing that obstructs the dance floor, which Malcolm slowly filled as he pulled people from inside the bar closer to the stage with his powerful guitar and Kimbrough’s driving percussions. The crowd on this particular night could be described as eclectic. There were old hippies, that looked like they have been to their fair share of Grateful Dead shows, and there were young hippies, that looked they stumbled upon their dad’s record collection and never looked back. The hippies, both old and young, were dancing right along side men in button-down shirts tucked neatly into pleated pants. And when the dancing slowed, Malcolm did not hesitate to take to the floor himself, quickly reinvigorating the crowd.
Josh Brough of Poor Man’s Whiskey leads the crowd through the “Humboldt Hoedown.”
When the crowd was appropriately lubricated, Lightnin’ Malcolm’s set ended and the attention was moved inside. After a pleasantly brief intermission, Poor Man’s Whiskey started their set with some originals before moving on to their interpretation of the bluegrass album “Old and in the Way” by the supergroup of the same name which was lead by the legendary Jerry Garcia.
Josh Brough, playing the banjo and lead vocals (and sometimes keyboard), lead the five man group. Opening with a bluegrass tune, “Humboldt HoeDown,” then moving to some rag time, and then onto a crowd favorite, complete with audience participation, in the song “PMS,” Brough refused to slow down and kept the crowd dancing the entire night.
After performing the night before at Quixote’s and then pulling off an impromptu acoustic set earlier in the day at Highland Tap & Burger on the patio, the band was energetic and excited to play one of their favorite covers. When PMW started playing the familiar tunes of Old and in the Way, the crowd really began to enjoy themselves. People old and young were singing along to the bluegrass which was released over 35 years ago. It was evident at Quixote’s that age does not matter. The place and the music is timeless. The people are friendly and the dance floor is welcoming, I guess that is why people keep coming back.
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