The Boston duo called the Scissormen took that name because both guitarist Ted Drozdowski and drummer Larry Dersch are licensed beauticians. No manes were trimmed Monday night at Iota, but there was considerable shredding by Drozdowski, who gleefully tore through a set of slide blues riffs based on time-tested northern Mississippi tunes.
Drozdowski, who sings in a soft and compelling tenor, paid homage to the memories of R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker, Son House and others with his version of their visions -- "Death Letter," "Mattie, Sweet Mattie," "Preachin' the Blues" and "Tupelo" among the songs. Although the show was partly sponsored by the D.C. Blues Society, musical scholarship took a back seat to zany showmanship.
Not content to play with just a slide on his left pinkie finger during "Whiskey and Mary Jane," Drozdowski searched Iota for other objects to rub on the fretboard of his wireless Telecaster. He climbed up onto the main bar and played with knives and forks; he got down on his knees on the floor and played with an empty ashtray; he climbed up on the club's other bar and played with a beer glass; he interrupted someone's meal in the cafe next door to jam with their dinner plate.
Then he went outside into the street, startling passersby and never missing a note.
-- Buzz McClain