The New Soft Shoe
, a local band that plays the music of the late, great singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, has carved out its own distinct niche since it began performing five years ago. At 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, it plays a special five-year anniversary show at the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern
. The band started at the request of Dog co-owner, the late Sean Kilbane, who asked local singer-songwriter Brent Kirby to play a regular show on the second Thursday of every month. Kirby decided to devote the night to playing Parsons, who blended country and rock into something he called “Cosmic American Music.” He recruited guitarist Andy Leach, pedal steel player Al Moss, bassist Tom Prebish, drummer Jon Niefeld and keyboardist Justin Gorski.
“We aren’t a tribute band; we don’t dress the part or try to play the songs the way they were played note for note” Kirby says in a press release. “We put our own spin on the tunes.” The New Soft Shoe has performed multiple times at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, an annual festival in Gram’s childhood hometown of Waycross, Ga. “The Gram Parsons community is a special one; there is no in-between,” says Kirby. “When you talk about Gram, people either love him or have no idea who he is and what his impact is. I feel we are doing our part in spreading the gospel of Gram Parsons.” It’s gospel definitely worth hearing.