The Ruiners, The Matt Truman Ego Trip, The Dougouts-
Live @ Woodchucks Toledo Oh 5/7/11
By: Michael Rys
Another very good night musically in Toledo,even considering some x factors working against the show.A boxing event across the street left the parking situation kinda screwed and the show got off to a considerable late start .But a nice size crowd and great vibes made the BS bearable especially when the bands finally got started.
The Dougouts,started the night off. Now regular readers probably recognize the band name by now.They are Toledo scene vets that both musicians and patrons alike really dig. They play punk edged NY Dolls influenced rock and they do it very very well. Music almost anyone can relate too,anyone with decent taste that is. Doug the groups guitarist and lead vocalist conducted the group including Carl ( who's in about 5 bands right now and runs a studio)on bass/vocals and Kevin keeping the beat on the skins through roughly 40 minuets of kicking set that included some new tunes that are taking shape nicely and some select tracks from their last CD too. Especially cool were the cover played that night "Surfin' On Heroin" which included a buddy of theirs on vocals too! I dug their version of Lennon's "Cold Turkey" is always cool.I enjoy it because it sound alot more like The Godfathers version of the song.

Next up was The Ruiners, from Detroit Mi . Again this may be a familiar name not only because they played here a few times but because these guys and gals have gotten some much over due press and air time. Air time by their music being featured on MTV's shows The Hard Times of RJ Burger for a few shows and their song "Time to Get A Beers" on the TV show Brew Masters. I know it does not cover what they do in the live show but a record company actually doing a fine job for band who's traveled the worn road is worth pointing out. Kudos to Pravda Records for doing it. What can I say about The Ruiners to capture what their live show is like? Rick Ruiner the groups lead vocalist and Nina Friday his co- vocalist are like over the top circus ring masters who not only sing the bands tunes with passion and talent but they make it a rip roaring good time.They get the crowd involved with the show,dancing with them, dancing around them, singing, no serenading them and whatever else one can get away with in public. Now drummer Rob not only is he the rock along with Liz Ruiner on bass but you can tell they kinda egg them two along planting the seeds of on stage mischief. Justin Ruiner, well OK may you might think hes the quite one letting his guitar do the talking but if you watch you'll see he;s laughing all the way. I cant pick out a single moments or time frame in the show when I was especially impressed cause they rocked Woodchucks from start to finish. http://youtube/yBVZUqu5hAU

The Matt Truman Ego Trip is a band form Bowling Green Ohio and while I've heard their music and seen some video's I've never caught them live. I am glad I finally have. This six piece band,yeah six .. three guitars, bass, drums, percussion/backing vox take the stage dressed to the nines all in white,the first thing that came to mind was ABBA. From the first chords that where the comparison ends. I can't quite put a finger on what you would pigeon hole their music as beside rock, certainly plenty of pop influences, southern gospel melodies, R&B Motown style backing vocals and rhythms. I wowed right onto the "dance floor" as was many others including half The Ruiners. Seeing people dancing at a Woodchucks show is something Ive never seen before, talk about fun and really cool. This was not a drunk crowd kinda dancing either this was band sooo damn good it was inspiring. Count me in as fan of The Matt Truman Ego Trip from that point on. Oh and another thing worth mentioning too, I didn't see the mass exodus form the bar after 1 like we so often see, again I credit the band for this. http://youtube/QizGE8DfwRg

Bottom line to see all three of these amazing bands on one bill was fantastic each one is headline material in their own right. You get a chance to catch any of them live, you need to do it.