With the weekend behind and Friday a distant memory, Tuesday remains the middle child, a day that is passive and unmemorable. Yet Tuesday has perked up in Billings lately, thanks in part to local tap rooms hosting musical talents on this most dull of days.
Carter’s hosts live music in its tiny taproom most Tuesdays. The S.O.B.s, a local rock trio fronted by guitar animal Matt Rogers, are one of the “house” bands. They play a stripped-down, partly acoustic version of their typical rock.
Many groups have graced the brewery. With banjo soundtracking the avenue and an upright bass handed to whoever will play, the remains of Anonymous String Association have jammed on the balcony, and several singer-songwriters have crammed into the corners of the brewery to perform solo, their music flowing like the brew house’s luscious beer.
Sharli Kiner, who self-describes herself as Carter’s “beer tender,” serves drinks on weekdays and is behind the taps pouring flagship ales and recent brewery creations on Tuesdays. Though Carter’s only recently started hosting music, she said Tuesdays have blossomed.
“(Tuesdays) were slower nights, but hosting music helped boost attendance, and now it’s become my busiest night,” she said.
“It was a surreal experience that I haven’t really appreciated until now,” Rogers said in a recent interview.
At the time Rogers was performing with the Tyler Burnett Band, and he’ll take the stage once again with some of the same musicians. Currently Rogers is playing with drummer Pat Epley and bassist Steve Brown in a group they’ve dubbed the S.O.B.s, short for Sons of Billings.
For Billings musician Steve Brown, there’s no place like home. After a stint in California, Brown returned to Billings in July 2009 with a renewed sense of hometown pride.
“(Billings) is unlike anywhere else,” Brown said in a recent interview. “California is a fun place to visit, but life is so much more enriching when you can see people that you know all the time, rather than ignore the people next to you in the checkout line.”
While Brown did strum his guitar a few times in California, his music took a backseat. “The scene there is a little different. You pay to play,” Brown said, explaining that musicians are responsible for selling a certain percentage of tickets to their performances in order to make money. “I feel good about coming back, and it just felt really good to play again.”
Brown has been performing with a powerhouse of musical talents, including blues/bluegrass fusion band The Peach Pickers and rock guitarist Matt Rogers. “You look out and you see everyone you know; it’s not just faceless crowds that you don’t care about,” Brown said. “It’s smiling faces that you see, and it’s your best friends and even your enemies in the crowd. We all get together for this short amount of time and lay our weapons down and unite and have a good time. I believe there is something inherently powerful in people gathering in unity.”