A Steam Donkeys Christmas at Sportsmen’s Tavern
by Buck Quigley - posted 12:34 pm, December 16, 2011
Local shepherds, innkeepers, little drummer boys, and wise men from distant lands, as well as members of the local honky tonk community are praising tomorrow night’s (12/17, 9:30pm) performance by the Steam Donkeys at the Sportsmen’s Tavern as a window into the true meaning of Christmas.
The quartet—a globally recognized think-tank on issues relating to great live music played in gin mills—will make a major announcement based on its findings during the performance.
“Merriam-Webster defines a chestnut as ‘something (as a musical piece or a saying) repeated to the point of staleness,'” observes front-man and shameless self-promoter Buck Quigley. “So we won’t be covering any Christmas songs that could be seen as cliche. Our double-blind taste tests show that nothing’s worse than stale chestnuts—roasted on an open fire or not.”
Although the band’s name is derived from a steam-powered winch developed by the logging industry during the industrial revolution, for many, it’s the image of an actual donkey that sticks when thinking of the group. Quigley is fine with that, especially at Christmastime, where donkeys enjoy a more prominent historical place than reindeer, as evidenced by this painting by 14th century Italian artist Bernardo Daddi.
“Donkeys were there in Bethlehem 2011 years ago, as they have been at many controversial municipal nativity scenes across the US over the years,” he says. “They’re as Christmas-y as angels, stars, and oxen.”
When pressed about the festive nature of oxen, Quigley looks stung.
“Alright. Frankincense. They’re as Chrismas-y as frankincense,” he counters.
The band will be performing a broad selection of songs from their 20-year career, including “Christmas Travelers,” an original that’s been a staple of their holiday shows for over a decade.
Quigley says the band will also perform some choice seasonal covers, and bring a bunch of CDs to sell as stocking stuffers, “in the spirit of the season.”