In America they are termed “bar bands.” In the UK, these ensembles are referred to as “pub rockers.”
Geographies notwithstanding, these brave souls are the back bone of rock ‘n’ roll, plying their art whilst sweating it out in the clubs for little pay, even less recognition, half-worship half indifference, grotty working conditions, long hours, and did I mention practically no money?
To my ears, the best of the bar/pub genre were/are Graham Parker & The Rumour.
Graham is among rock’s greatest poets and his bassist for nearly his entire career (with and without The Rumour) is Andrew Bodnar.
Bodnar is a chameleon who currently prefers the Fender Jazz, though back in the day, he wielded Leo’s MusicMan Stingray with a biting resonance befitting his bandleader.
Andrew Bodner grooves akin to the Motown legends, riffs like a fusion master, utilizes the fretless to embellish his boss’ stinging libretto, swings like a jazz cat, keeps it warm and cozy on the ballads, and always lays down the funk with Jaco-esque flair.
Of Bodnar’s tenure with Parker, methinks his greatest performances can be found on the live The Parkerilla (1978) wherein Andrew kicks the brass enhanced Rumour into high-gear and then some, and the classic new wavish Squeezing Out Sparks (1979).
In addition to squeezing out low end sparks for Mr. Parker, Andrew has also enhanced the recordings of Elvis Costello (That’s Andrew on the single “Watching the Detectives"), The Pretenders’ Learning to Crawl (1984), Nick Lowe (that’s Andrew on “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,” The Rose of England in 1985), Garland Jeffreys’ masterpiece Escape Artist (1981), Carlene Carter, and three slabs by The Rumour sans Graham, among manyothers.