When Ryan Gustafson and company stepped on stage Saturday night at the Cat's Cradle, he barely could have had a stronger band behind him. From the allstar back line of James Wallace and Jeff Crawford to Thomas Costello, Thomas Simpson and Mark Simonsen, each member of the group has their hand in several projects. Still, despite the show being booked as The Dead Tongues, it was definitely the Ryan Gustafson party. The band kicked off a nearly hour-long set that reached back to his Donkey LP to reprise "Soul Train." From there, they ran through most of the new Desert with fury and depth.
As the door cost was a mere $5, I would suspect many folks were seeing the group for the first time: They couldn't have stumbled into a better show to sample the deepening pool of musical talent in the Triangle.