Last weekend I was in Indianapolis for a conference and when I looked up things to do in Indy (and surprisingly there was a lot to do) one of the things that stuck out was The Slippery Noodle Inn, which is the oldest bar in Indiana that is still in the same location. It was a roadhouse and brothel and now it’s a humongous bar and restaurant that features blues bands. The outside is just a square brick building taking up most of a city block but inside you walk through the bar and than come across this maze of rooms – game room, bars, two stages, restaurants – with each room crowded.
I made my way to the back room stage and found a high table and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich (Indianapolis is the land of meat and sports – it’s hard to find a regular menu that is not full of beef) and ordered a drink (rocks for an extra .75 – is there an ice shortage in Indianapolis?). Decent bar food.
Big Daddy Caddy is a local band with Russ Bucy (guitar/vocals), Ethan Strange (guitar/vocals), Bryan Pearcy (drums/vocals), Jerome Mills (bass/vocals), and Dave Toombs (keys/vocals). Strange was front and center looking a little hipster-y and the rest of the band was making fun of his capris (actually very long shorts). In fact there was way too much talking and not enough playing – some of the musicians in this band are excellent and I would have liked to hear more from them. There were some blues covers but mostly rock and R&B covers. Bucy did an acoustic version of a Fleetwood Mac song that was wonderful. Mills is the real artist in the band – his bass playing and his voice could give you chills. He mixed it up with some Smokey Robinson and Al Green and I was in heaven. Pearcy had two toms along with his kick and snare but you’d never know it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a drummer play every song with only the kick and snare. I can’t say I recommend that.
During their set they asked one of the waitresses (Sara) to get up and sing. Her band had played there the previous weekend and she killed with an Aretha Franklin song.
I knew there was going to be another band playing but I thought it was going to be on the same stage. Imagine my surprise when I got up to go to the ladies room when heard another band playing in the front room. This was a smaller stage and smaller room and the Gordon Bonham Blues Band were playing original rock blues songs. Tom Harold (harmonica/vocals), David Murray (bass), and Jeff Chapin (drums) join Bonham (guitar/vocals). All of the musicians were excellent and it was nice to hear a drummer using the entire kit. One of the songs was called “Hoosier Blues.”
It was an amazing night of music and if you live in Indianapolis you have this available to you seven nights a week.
By Carene Lydia Lopez