By Anthony J. Machcinski
A modern version of the southern rock style mixed with the influences of the Grateful Dead graced the audience at Donegal Saloon in Kearny as ScareKrow and DeLacey played May 26.
In the midst of a tour that takes them across the Northeast, playing many large venues, ScareKrow and DeLacey, along with New Riders of the Purple Sage members Buddy Cage and Johnny Markowski, put on a show in front of a small crowd.
ScareKrow, who is in the process of legally changing his name to ScareKrow, and DeLacey Ault came to form the band after working together on a project.
“The harmonies come from an amazing place,” said ScareKrow. “It’s true love.”
The pair have become partners in life and used their experiences together as a couple to create great music.
“We found each other a few years ago in Knoxville, Tenn.,” said ScareKrow, who would later comment, “It is the most perfect thing I believe we both have ever known, and the music comes from that.”
Music did not always come easy to ScareKrow. A fall out of a four-story building when he was about 17 nearly ended his music career. Severe brain damage and the subsequent coma affected the ability for motion in his left hand. Despite this setback, ScareKrow took the experience and made a positive from it.
“It took more brain power and focus to work on my left hand more,” ScareKrow explained. “My style and my life changed from there. I almost had to do a reset.”
It is from this accident that ScareKrow adopted a finger-pricking style, a style of playing in which the guitarist uses fingertips or fingernails to pluck strings as opposed to using a pick or strumming. The result is a “twang” instead of the normal flat sound.
While ScareKrow is a phenomenal artist, his work behind the scenes is what has gotten him recognized in the business.
“I do what most people can’t do,” ScareKrow explained. “In this day and economy you have to do a lot.”
His experiences as a sound technician have allowed him to tour with other bands such as BoomBox.
Scarekrow and DeLacey, along with Buddy Cage and Johnny Markowski, created an atmosphere at Donegal that can usually be found only in places such as Beale St. in Memphis, and Bourbon St. in New Orleans.
With a thumping percussion backbone and DeLacey’s bass strumming, the styles of Buddy Cage on slide guitar and ScareKrow’s finger-picking take center stage. Not one person in Donegal was standing still while the band played. While some were more ambitious and danced in front of the band, those sitting around the bar were tapping their feet to the music or nodding their head to the beat.
While the sound of the band is incredible, the harmonic combination of ScareKrow and DeLacey’s voices is what makes the sound complete.
“It’s amazing the way (the voices) fall on your eardrum,” said ScareKrow.
While Donegal Saloon, 337 Kearny Ave., is tiny in comparison to the festivals the New Riders of the Purple Sage have played, the venue cannot be counted out as one of the best in the area. A split between the bar and the stage allows for a wide variety of customers to enjoy the music in their own comfort zone.
From Kearny, the band will travel into New York to play a wide variety of festivals before ScareKrow and DeLacey return to Knoxville in hopes of completing the building of their house.
ScareKrow and DeLacey will put their harmonies on record as the pair looks to complete a new album and release it later this year. For more information, check out the band’s website at www.scarekrowanddelacey.com or for further events at Donegal Saloon, visit www.donegalsaloon.com.