Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
There is a scene in "The Last Waltz" when Band leader Robbie Robertson talks about playing in bars and small clubs for eight years before the group got anywhere. Washington has its own share of bars and small clubs and a host of local bands that play them regularly.
One such band, Jeremiah Samuels and Last Chance, returned Wednesday night to one such club - The Childe Harold - to begin a regular Wednesday night, no-cover, engagement.
Jeremiah Samuels and Last Chance has some definite pluses. The music is usually tight, and steel pedalist/guitarist David Williams and key-boardist Patti Clements are tasteful and solid. And, occasionally, the band produces some strong rock 'n' roll.
There also are some minuses. Samuels himself is too showy a stage presence for the kind of music his band performs. Also, the original material (most of it written by Samuels and Clements) is generally uninspiring. The change from their old Tuesday night slot to Wednesdays has not affected their act much. Last chance still is competent but not particularly distinguished.
Doug Mishkin opened Wednesday night's show with some clear-voiced folk music. Mishkin, who sounds a lot like Don McLean, projects a campfire persona and a light-hearted temperament.