Ryan Gustafson last night at Slim's, but due to the sound quality of the show, I'm going to hold off on making a final assessment. I don't know exactly what happened (I heard that something - whether the PA or an amp - had broken), but the sound was truly terrible. Yes, I know that Slim's is not the best-sounding club in town. The only bands that sound great at Slim's are loud, dirty rock bands. But this went beyond the usual muddiness. Several die-hard Ryan/Max Indian fans - including Alex - took off early because they just couldn't deal with it.
That said, I can't tell much difference between Ryan Gustafson and Max Indian, probably because both bands -- along with the Light Pines -- share three members: Gustafson himself, Carter Gaj and James Wallace. When it came time for Max Indian to play their set, they just switched bass players and kept going. Just to keep it confusing, Ryan Gustafson covered some Max Indian songs and at least one Light Pines song. Light Pines definitely have their own distinct sound, but judging from what I heard last night, Ryan Gustafson's music and Max Indian's are pretty similar. The biggest distinction is that Gustafson is far and away the best singer out of anyone in the Drughorse Collective. Listen to his material on Myspace. It's more rootsy sounding than what I heard last night, and his voice fits it perfectly.
And with that, I leave you a video that features Carter, rather than Ryan, singing. I'll get a better video of Ryan next time I see him.
Ryan Gustafson from Mann's World on Vimeo.