Teacher by Day, Rock Star by Night

Last Friday and Saturday night, Southern Oregon University’s own creative writing teacher, Craig Wright, performed with his band, “The 541 Turnaround,” at the Milagros Fresh Mexican restaurant to celebrate Mardi Gras, and they kicked ass.IMG_1051

Craig Wright led on vocals and traded in his short stories for a six string, fender electric guitar. He and his band played blues-rock, and I couldn’t help but hear a little Rolling Stones, Cream, and Doors influence in their playing.

The music was loud and the crowd couldn’t stop dancing. The staff served beer on tap, which meant the concert was a ‘no minors’ zone, which always makes for a better night. The music began at 9:30 and continued on until midnight.

While there was only about 30 people in total, it was still a packed house. The Milagros Mexican restaurant isn’t much bigger than the size of an SOU classroom, and I was curious to see how they could pull off hosting a concert. They cleared out all the seating and tables, and erected a small wooden platform for the stage in the corner. It worked really well, and the mood was very cool. The room was dimmed and they set up rotating green, blue, and white lights to get a more concert like vibe.

There were also two mimes there. They stayed in character all night and performed mimey like things. Too be honest, I’m not sure if they just decided to show up as mimes, or if they were invited as a side show. Mimes kinda put me on edge, so I didn’t want to ask.

Overall the night was a major success, and it’s cool seeing a teacher from SOU rock out. As of now, Craig Wright and the 541 Turnarounds have no immediate scheduled gigs. But I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of them around town.

If you get the chance to see them, do it.