The Steve Carlson Band at play.

The latter was the case last night when Steve Carlson (the other half of "Kane") took the stage at Hotel Café with his band to do what he does best: rock out, getting funky and down and dirty and bluesy, and ballad-y but with a quality that shines throughout the performance and never lets up.

Steve Carlson rocks.

Steve Olivas, the traveling saxophonist.

It was my first time seeing the band live, and for what I’ve heard, they regularly play as good as they did last night. Steve told us right away that he was in a special good mood because they had played a charity event the previous night and it had gone very, very well. He was also very happy to have Darren Sher (who produced Steve’s new album, "Groovin’ on the Inside") on piano and backing vocals, and Darren’s wife, Rosalee, on backing vocals as special guests. Steve also warned us they never start the show with a cover tune, but in view of the special circumstances, that it was just what they were going to do. And they launched into "Feelin’ Alright" and the die was cast for the rest of the show. It was funky, fresh, groovy, rockin’, all at the same time.

Nothing is off limits when it comes to rockin’ out.

The show covered also old tunes (like "Wasted Jamie," "Hummingbird Billy," "Piñata Novia," and my favorite song from the "Rollin’ On" album, "Nonstop Lady," which closed the show), and new tunes, like the funky "If Ain’t Easy" and the ballad "Don’t Move On." The best part of the evening, in my opinion, was when the band broke into a cover of the Rolling Stones’ "Miss You." It was electrifying and jamm-y and fun and the only way for someone not to react to it was to be dead. Which nobody in the audience was, so there we go.

The band having fun.

Overall, a great show, albeit too short. If you find out Steve Carlson is coming to your town with his band, do yourself a favor and go check ’em out. You won’t be disappointed.

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