LIVE REVIEWS

THEA HOPKINS
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA        5/3/12

A fine gig tonight at a great packed venue for long-time folk talent Thea Hopkins. She’s opening for the legendary Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, he of the more talk/less music mentality (that’s what octogenarians are apt to do—whoa!).  Immediately Thea and her tremendous sidekick, Andy Hollinger (guitar/ mandolin), set the audience upright with a short collection of great folk-rockin’ material. Her voice is crisp and clear with gorgeous sustained tones vested with both blues and country inflections. She graces us with an uptempo version of Linda and Teddy Thompson’s tune, “Do Your Best for Rock ’n’ Roll,” that gets the crowd boppin’, but it’s her original material that is the focal point. “Down By the Water,” “Hold On,” “Rows and Rows of Stars,” and “Lilac Sky,” the title tune from her upcoming new album, are standouts. Thea also proudly tells us that she has just won an American Songwriter contest and will be receiving a new Gibson guitar. Bravo and fait accompli.         (Harry C. Tuniese)

 

TIM GEARAN
CD Release Party,
Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge, MA 5/10/12

Atwood’s is quickly becoming the hub of the Americana and roots scene in the Greater Boston area.  Tonight people have traveled near and far to see Boston’s own iconic singer/songwriter and his band.  The room is packed to the gills with fans friends and celebrities like Will Dailey, Christian McNeil, Steve Morse, Jesse Dee, Ed Valauskas, and Andrea Gillis from the local scene all paying tribute to the man. It’s all Tim Gearan tonight. And he deserves it. The man is a workhorse. He plays four to five nights a week in town and tonight is working on his second set of his second show today. His voice reminds me of a soulful Bob Dylan meeting a bluesy Randy Newman. The crowd in front of the stage is thick as Jello. There is more talent on stage tonight than some clubs see in a year.       (Kier Byrnes)

 

ANDREA GILLIS BAND,
THE BANDIT KINGS

The Dog Bar, Gloucester, MA   4/20/12

The double shot female vocals of the Bandit Kings commence soon after I find a seat near the stage. The band mixes up a good selection of covers (the Pretenders seem to be their favorite) and their own catchy songs.  “Find,” “Motorcycle,” “Shirt Off My Back,” and “Epic Hello” have all stuck in my head since the first time I heard them. Ann Marie has a great physical presence; her moves force you to watch her. Renee on keyboard adds the perfect vocal support—and sometimes it’s not clear who’s supporting who, as both these women have great pipes—and unison between the two is one the band’s signature sounds. Dan King is playing the rounded sound of a Washburn semi-hollow body tonight (instead of the Fender Telecaster I usually see him with)—he knows the right moments to pour on the heavy vibrato. Dennis Mongale is steady on the drums and adds to the songwriting with “Breath.” Joe Cardoza on bass knows when to lay back and when pump up the low end. They complete the set with the gals fevered up and letting loose with “Jerker.”

Andrea Gillis’s super-talented band from Boston is up next and the folks of Gloucester don’t hold back their appreciation by dancing through the whole set. The band includes Charles Hanson (lead guitar), Melissa Gibbs (rhythm guitar), Bruce Coporal (drums) and Mark Panaski (bass). The family tree that those members branch from is impressive. They start with “Bring It on Home to Me” with bluesy guitar solos and Andrea getting all soulful at the end… then they’re right into a bebopper called “Tough Love.” The gals from Bandit Kings get on stage and add their background harmonies. Then there’s that big round bass riff driving “We Could Make Each Other Happy.” They go from country twang to ’60s soul, from straight rock ’n’ roll to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” disco AND the old gospel tune “Hold On (Keep Your Hand on the Wheel),” and it all makes perfect sense with Andrea’s raspy vocals holding the common denominator. These musicians build a set the way a volcano cooks up before it explodes. The lava leaves the room full of sweat.                       (T Max)

 

THE GROWNUP NOISE,
BOW THAYER & THE PERFECT TRAINWRECK,
GARVY J, MOTHERBOAR

T.T. the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA   4/20/12
Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble Finals

I walk up Brookline Street to see a long line of people waiting to get into T.T.’s, which is testament to how many people are drawn to the annual Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble (or, North by Northeast, as I’ve been calling it over the past couple of weeks as I struggle to explain to my coworkers why I’ve been so tired without using the term “nine-night party”). Luckily I’m on the list and I jump the line to get inside the club, which is by far the most packed I’ve ever seen it.

Motherboar has just started playing so I squeeze into the crowd, which I instantly regret as I fall victim to the beer showers which are apparently Motherboar’s signature move. The entire set is brutal, relentless, and testosterone-ridden. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of headbanging-induced post-metal-show sore necks tomorrow. My favorite song of the set is “Camel Puncher,” which is precisely the ratio of straight-up metal to melody that makes me want to break things (not recommended).

Motherboar is the front-runner of my Rumble trifecta (along with Garvy J and Parlour Bells), and by the end of their set, I’m pretty convinced they’re going to win, based on how thoroughly melted everyone’s faces appear to be. On my way to get a drink post-face-melt, I run into pretty much everyone who ever posted on the Noiseboard, as well as an ex-boyfriend or three. The Rumble really does bring everyone together, and that’s what I love about springtime at T.T.’s. It’s like a damn rock ’n’ roll reunion up in here.

Garvy J starts playing, and their dreamy atmospheric pop-rock grooviness juxtaposed with the sheer brutality of Motherboar throws me for a loop at first. I must admit I am also slightly disoriented by all of the leather, but once I adjust to the drastic mood shift, I like what I’m hearing. It isn’t long before I find myself swaying along in a dreamlike state of arena rock bliss. These guys have a following, for sure—I see lots of people dancing up front who know every word.

Next up is Bow Thayer & the Perfect Trainwreck, who play bluegrassy country rock, complete with banjos! The set is actually my least favorite of the evening, even though the musicianship is top notch (that drummer!) and the crowd seems really into what they’re hearing. The songs just seem to blur together, although that could also be the PBRs. It feels like just a few minutes have gone by when the Grownup Noise takes the stage in the Rumble’s traditional guest spot. They have a cellist! And that voice! They are so smooth and sweetly mellow! It’s definitely a shame that they had to drop out of the prelims.

Shortly after, it is announced that Bow Thayer has taken the 2012 Rumble, and out of the corner of my eye I see champagne spraying everywhere while I’m tweeting the news. Accolades to Anngelle for organizing such an amazing scenebuilding event that exposed us all to so many bands we normally wouldn’t have seen—the Rumble is the only time you’ll see such varied types of music represented back to back. As I wait in line at the Hi-Fi afterwards with half the people that were just at T.T.’s, I find myself thinking that I can’t wait ’til it’s Rumble season again. Cheers, Boston. That was rad.         (Emily Diggins)

 

GYPSY CARAVAN
Belfast Free Range Festival, Belfast, ME 4/28/12

We arrive at the whimsically named, Belfast Free Range Festival, in time to hear the first scheduled act, Gypsy Caravan. The little fishing village is milling with folks of all ages as we hurry to the Aarhus Art Gallery, one of eight venues where thirty-five bands will perform in a staggered schedule today.

Gypsy Caravan is from mid-coast Maine. They perform manouche-style gypsy jazz, and also play in the tradition of modern jazz guitarists Robin Nolan, Frank Vignola, John Jorgenson and Bireli Lagrene. They are seasoned musicians—Dave Clarke is the lead guitarist, and composer of many of their tunes. His dad, Dan Clarke, plays rhythm guitar and Ezra Rugg is on the standup bass. Wayne Delano plays at least two different saxophones. The venue is filled to capacity with a small crowd standing at the back of the gallery. Many seem to be genuine jazz aficionados as there are numerous bursts of wild applause for the intricate, improvisational sax solos and all round unified musicality of the group. I was expecting more of a Django Reinhardt type set but they seem to reach into more of a modal sound that tend toward the abstract. They are excellent musicians, though, and in fine form, playing high tone music without smoke or alcohol in the surroundings, jumping right in with intensity and feeling before lunch!      (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

 

ENGINE JUDY,
HIRAM BULL,
MICHAEL BLOOM,
DAN McGINN

Private Party, Revere, MA  5/5/12

Initially assembled late in 2010, Engine Judy came together as a full-fledged band some three months ago. The band already has a slew of songs, of which, on this evening, we are treated to six. The full band is Tim Sprague on guitar, vocals and trumpet; Judith Ann Sprague on vocals; Phillipe Doucet on guitar, Maureen Relling-Booth on bass and vocals, and David Zimmerman on drums. The concert takes place on a dead-end street in a big backyard with a maypole newly wrapped in multicolored ribbons rising out of the tidy lawn from nearly dead center. The warm-up number, “Keep Away,” is a standard blues shuffle. (I mention to Michael Bloom that it would do nicely for a Viagra ad. Then I admit that this was a very cheap shot indeed.) The second number, “Cadillac,” reveals a semi-psychedelic undertow in the interaction between rhythm guitar and bass, with (infernal cliche) hot guitar licks interspersed along the top. It concludes with an incantatory, mildly doomy Doors-like vibe. (Michael Bloom observes that it would be even more amusing if it were sung in Swedish and called “Volvo.”)  “The Gathering” is a jazz-inflected, bass-heavy lament with muted trumpet solos. Next is “Long Ride,” an incantatory rock number with harmony vocals and tribal percussion. The sound in the outdoor venue is murky and diffused as the sun is not long from setting and the super moon is about to rise in the serially gathering fog—conditions which add an appropriate, almost suffocating sense of something ominous to come. The highlight of the evening is “I’m in Love With You,” which I peg as psychedelic garage punk from the opening bars. True to form, the song features circular bass riffs with fuzz guitar overlay, but with highly enunciated vocals rather than the incoherent babble one might expect from frantic Tejano-style psychedelia. Tim calls their final number a “fake jazz tune,” but the actual title is “Rocks They Crumble.” As the song begins, a red-haired woman with fingernails painted green begins to smile and nod. The tune features a trumpet riff on top of a springy guitar rhythm and torchy vocals. Overall, what Engine Judy lacks in heedless stripling energy they more than make up for with subtlety and feel.

Hiram Bull, not seen on a stage of any kind for nearly ten years, shambles up and performs, a capella, in his wavering hillbilly tenor, a simple song: “We’re Just Like Everybody Else.” Before the feeble and scattered applause dies down, he then introduces Michael Bloom, who follows up with a lovely ballad sung over a regrettably

under-miked acoustic guitar rhythm. A real surprise is the performance of an impromptu pickup band lead by Dan McGinn, aka Black Dog Brother, who performs two guitar numbers with an undefinably choppy rhythm sung with manic brio and admirably underscored by galumphing percussion.

Earlier, some people had been petting their dog, a strangely complacent pit-bull and black lab mix “with a touch of greyhound.” I asked why the dog was so calm. “She’s a rock ’n’ roll dog,” was the reply. (A very handy dog to have around.) (Francis DiMenno)

 

THE REACTIVE,
THE BEACHCOMBOVERS,
UNRULY

Club Bohemia/Cantab Lounge, Cambridge, MA   5/5/12

Too much! It’s like a hit-jukebox tonight at the Cantab. It’s also local legendary videographer Artie Freedman’s birthday. There’s dancin’ (whoa!), pop hits galore, fashionable people, and even exotic bellydancers! And it washes over me like a bountiful shot of tequila on a wonderful Cinco de Mayo evening. Aye-yi-yi-yi!

We arrive as Unruly, a three-piece female power trio, finish up with Zeppelin and Hendrix tunes.

Next up is Tommy White’s group, the Beachcombovers, a fun-filled tribute to surf music and instrumental beat combos (a la Dick Dale, Link Wray and the Surfaris). With their natty attire and well-chosen covers, they bring big smiles to the entire crowd, especially when three exotic dancers make an appearance. Both sultry and swirly, they weave through the room waving scarves and balancing swords on their torsos. Good fun stuff.

Lastly, the debut of the Reactive, featuring ex-members of the Varmints (vocals/guitar Fred Victor and drummer Dan McCarthy) and long-ago Rumble champs, Pastiche (Ron Marinick on keys), and charming pop-rock stylist, Julie Sweeney (guitar/vocals). Very fine presentation and quite loud and strong—our ears are still hummin’. Great crowd response (real dancin’—whoa!!) and Mickey Bliss is even singin’ into his PA mic at the soundboard on some tunes! A good looking band with wonderful balance—front man charisma, cute side gal, and solid rhythm grunts groovin’ non-stop equals irresistible! Excellent selection of great tunes by the Stones, Rascals, Kinks (the masters!), with a few cool originals thrown in for good measure! A group to keep your eyes and ears and pulse reactin’—shake some action, indeed!             (Harry C. Tuniese)

 

DUKE LEVINE BAND 
Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge, MA 3/20/12

A bunch of friends and I hold a running club Tuesday nights at Atwood’s. We meet each Tuesday around 7:15 and set off for a run, returning to Atwood’s afterwards for cold beers and some tasty grub.  Tonight we get a special treat. Duke Levine, one of (if not the) best guitarists in Boston has set up camp on stage and we have front row seats to an amazing display of guitar virtuosity.  Unlike when Duke plays sideman to Jimmy Ryan, Dennis Brennan or the J. Geils Band where Duke rips into a lighting fast mind blowing solo, Duke’s solo stuff is more reserved. It’s still amazingly technical, but it’s a lot more smooth and mellow. There are a lot of ballads (a few too many some would say) but the crowd that is fortunate enough to see someone this talented in such an informal setting, doesn’t complain. Boston rock icon Peter Wolf jumps up on stage and does a few songs to close out the night and to top off what’s an amazing set.         (Kier Byrnes)

 

THE SKINNY MILLIONAIRES,
THE McGUNKS,
THE OLD EDISON

Providence Social Club, Providence, RI  5/8/12

Every year I pick a show to go to on my birthday, this year I chose this one. Supersuckers headline, and I figured since I’ve seen most of these acts it should be a slam dunk. The club never really fills up tonight, but it is very barren as the Old Edison takes the stage. This is the first time I’ve seen them fully mic’d. To be honest, I prefer them unmic’d buried in the crowd, with everybody singing along. That isn’t happening, the music is still great, but I don’t feel the same connection that I’ve grown accustomed to when seeing them in Boston.

The McGunks are fresh off their Motif’s Punk Act of the Year win and they’re looking to prove why they’re money. The club is now a little fuller, the stage has a few more faces but still it’s kind of a sad draw. We get the “all business” McGunks tonight. I prefer the drunken falling down shit show, but I’ll take what I’m given. Bob McGunk barely stops to talk between the songs. This banter is my favorite part of their shows usually. He does ask for everyone to tip the bartender so she could buy pants that fit. Overall, the McGunks set is a win, and they’re pretty money in my book.

I’m excited that part of the Denver Boot is playing with the Skinny Millionaires tonight. The excitement ends as the music starts.  I’m not impressed at all. Yes, the energy is amazing. The singer is all over the stage—jumping off the drums, jumping in the air, swinging his guitar around—but all the energy in the world doesn’t make up for the blatant Violent Femmes rip off. The nasal vocals grind on my last nerve very quickly. I really can’t tell you what he is singing about, because where I’m standing the crowd noise is drowning him out. I don’t smoke but opt to go and catch some of the second hand just to escape for a bit. This by far wasn’t my best birthday show, but they can’t all be winners.              (Melvin O)

 

BILL STAINES & BOB FRANKE
Me & Thee, Marblehead, MA  5/4/12

My favorite host at the Me & Thee coffeehouse, Phillip Murphy, gets the show rolling with his snappy fire exit information executed in a humorous rap style which includes a costume and personality change—he becomes his evil twin brother who wears a Yankees baseball cap. After the intro, Bill Staines and Bob Franke take the stage looking like two old gunslingers—with six-strings instead of six-shooters. Bill sports a cowboy hat, trimmed white beard and brown Beatle boots while Bob Franke wears a loose fitting brown suit. These guys comfortably start swapping songs back and forth with no set list. Comfortable is a key word here.

The songs are true old-school folk songs that fit right in with the best traditional folk songs available. And the coffeehouse is filled with long-time fans who readily join in on the choruses. Even Bill’s rendition of Pearl Jam’s “If I Come to Need an Angel” gets equipped with a folk melody to make it suitable to sing at his daughter’s wedding.

The between-song banter is wonderful with these two. When Bob twists around to switch to his 12-string he groans, and Bill says it’s the same sound he makes when he puts on his socks. Bill threatens his out-of-tune guitar with, “Remember the wood stove,” then follows up with, “It smartens it up all the time.” When Bill raises his capo one fret right before the start of a song, Bob quips, “A good friend warns you.” Later Bill preceeds one of his songs with, “Flying is the second best feeling—landing is the first.”

Of the standout songs, I’ve noted Bob’s “Not Today”—an a cappella tune about an alcoholic staying away from a drink. Then there’s Bill’s theme song for keeping kids off drugs (“Tomorrow”). And the smugly humorous song about Bob’s dog Snowy, “Good Dog,” is my favorite. The night continues the series of well-written songs and high quality performances that I’ve come to expect out of all the shows at Me & Thee.    (T Max)

 

DOLLAR GENERAL
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA        5/4/12

Michael Chorney, an arranger-producer-guitarist from Lincoln, Vermont, was also the musical director/accompanist for Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown album & tour, creating a sympathetic backdrop of Americana/jazz/folk/pop/blues/minstrel music that broadened the  arrangements and presentation. At several performances, his musical ensemble often opened the show with his mild-mannered and uniquely involved material. He has now taken the next step and formed his own folk-jazz quartet to showcase this splendid mellifluous vision.

The only caveat tonight is there is no available album for a CD release party—just a petite sampler EP. Michael explains he’s been so fussy with final mixes that the project just couldn’t be rushed to accommodate the gig. But folks, from the material presented, this will be a masterful collection from some extraordinarily talented performers. His group, Dollar General, featuring Asa Brosius on pedal steel and Dobro, Rob Morse on acoustic bass, and Gaza Carr on drums, is so effectively tuned into his music, it takes my breath away. I hear traces of John Martyn, Tim Buckley, Peter Blegvad, Fred Frith, and Michael Hedges. With Mr. Chorney’s laid-back vocal fluency and dextrous use of both acoustic and prepared guitar (he’s developed a system of manipulating the strings with metal strips that can alter the tone from that of an African kora to Javanese Gamelan), this is special and great stuff, indeed! Check ’em out whenever they make a return visit to Boston—positively recommended!   (Harry C. Tuniese)

 

METEORA
Belfast Free Range Festival, Belfast, ME  4/28/12

We stay in the Aarhus Gallery because one of my favorite Maine folk trios, Meteora, is up next. The gallery is packed to the door. They welcome us warmly. As an aside, Will Brown and Kat Logan both contributed to the 2009 Grammy nominated folk album, Singing Through the Hard Times—A Tribute to Utah Phillips. Jim Loney is from an R&B and delta blues background and has an elegant tenor voice. He did me in with a solo of “O Come Emmanuel” at a Christmas concert back in December.

Meteora’s three-part harmony gives me goosebumps. Will cradles his teardrop shaped 12-string guitar like a baby and his voice is rich and sweet. If I had to classify Kat’s voice it would be in the Judy Collins camp. She has a tonal quality that brings to mind cool water from a pristine forest. We hear an array of musical flavors from blues and bluegrass, Celtic and English folksongs, a few originals and even a couple of Latino tunes. Folk singer Ann Dodson is present and joins them on stage for a few songs. I would happily drive two hours to hear them again. Their set is over too soon. The audience is blissed out. Me too.            (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

 

HOOKERCLOPS,
LITTLE WAR TWINS,
FAUX OX,
GOODNIGHT MOON

Church, Boston, MA   5/2/12

I’m late. Traffic’s brutal. Kenmore Square is packed with rowdy Sox fans heading to Fenway. I deftly maneuver my way through the crowd as the cry of ticket-scalpers rings out in the cool night air. I finally make it to Church with just enough time to catch the tail-end of Goodnight Moon’s set. A buncha young’uns, these guys—black X’s sharpied on each of their wrists. Their music smacks of pop-punk—sentimental and bubblegummy, with a dash of distorted grit and oomph. Not too shabby.

After them comes power-trio Faux Ox. There’s no bassist—just two guitars and a drummer, but their sound isn’t lacking in low-end bombast. Not in the least. Their tunes, for the most part, radiate drone-heavy drop-D riffing through cranked amps. The lead-guitarist shoegazes his way through exotic Eastern-tinged melodies drenched in a variety of spacy effects. The drummer blasts tom-heavy battle-drum rhythms while the singer chomps on his guitar and sings in a twisted Cramps-like staccato style. Think “Kashmir” meets White Stripes. Dark and dreary, this post-punk outfit is right up my alley.

Third on the bill are Little War Twins, who provide a nice change of pace, substituting thunderous volume with subtlety, positivity, and intricacy. Their manic pixie dream girl vocalist, in her summer-dress and pink bandana, strums gently on her acoustic guitar and sings flower-power songs with her smoky voice. To her right, a lead-guitarist lookin’ like Duane Allman reborn, finger-picks delicately at his Strat, emitting a mind-boggling array of tonal colors—from eerie UFO sounds to whammy-barred chimes to sparkling glissandi. To her left, a stunning violinist warbles like a songbird on her violin, ebbing and flowing between climactic peaks of fierce fiddle-sawing and startling pizzicato breakdowns. The drummer’s less-is-more style and outside-the-box approach—using the stands themselves for percussion, scraping drumsticks across the cymbal-edges to make a theramin-like squeal, etc.—gives the lushly-layered songs just what they need.

Rowdy rock ’n’ rollers HookerClops close out the night. A tough slot, closing on a Wednesday night, but these guys do it with such unrestrained intensity and boundless aplomb that you’d think it was a Friday night at the Rat. Their music is juiced-up on distorted guitar machismo, punk-rock swagger, and cheap beer. The lead-singer (lookin’ a like a punk-rock Colonel Sanders with his white suit) strums a cherry-red Bo Diddley guitar, while the bassist (with his philosopher’s beard) cavorts across the stage and the mustachioed lead-guitarist wrenches twangy leads from his hollow-body. Propelling it all is the wild drummer’s boisterous backbeats and frenetic fills. They plow through a barrage of brief but driving tunes full of delightfully absurdist lyrics and rallying-cry choruses.  (Will Barry)


ATLANTIC THRILLS,
THE ROACHES,
GANGBANG GORDON

PA’s Lounge, Somerville, MA   4/29/12

Gangbang Gordon is easily one of the most bizarre rock acts I have come across in the past few years.  GG is a one man band: vocals, guitar, drum machine. Tonight, his appearance is as equally striking as his outsider, noisy-garage driven music.  He hops on stage wearing a poorly supported, blonde hair wig and an old, beat up Corona hat.  GG’s set is roughly ten minutes long and consists of him jumping into the small crowd with little to no preservation for himself or the attendees; at one point he even knocks me on the head with his guitar.  Towards the end of the performance, the audience stares blankly, unsure whether it is the end or if there is more to come.  GG assures us, “NO ENCORE!”  Of course, it is good to note that this is in fact his debut performance, so for that I will say, congratulations, young man!

The next band, the Roaches, continue the garage rock tradition that Gangbang Gordon begins.  This time, however, it is from the total opposite side of the spectrum.  Being Berklee College of Music students, the Roaches are excellent musicians and deliver a knock out set.  Like GG, they are highly energetic, but they play much faster and with extreme precision. I note an undeniable Oblivians influence.  Like Oblivians, they take the blues and pump it up with fierce, loud punk rock. They have a tight sound, the guitars are thick, the drums are pounded with incredible force, and the vocals are shouted.  The Roaches hit me like a tornado and their half hour set never runs its course.  I have been meaning to see them for over a year now, so this is a real treat.  I recommend the band to anyone in interested in perhaps more sophisticated garage rock.

The headliners tonight are the Atlantic Thrills, a local favorite of mine hailing from Providence, Rhode Island.  When you see the Thrills it is always a party! They conclude our evening of fun filled garage rock. The group is not as musically inclined as the Roaches, but much more experienced than Gangbang Gordon,  so it is the perfect middle ground: loose rock ’n’ roll meets admirable musical chops. The band is always excited to play and the crowd eats it up.  When I look around I notice that there is only a handful of people in attendance, but honestly it makes no difference.  The crowd, for the most part, is either wildly dancing or moshing, or both. It turns into one of the most enjoyable rock experiences of my life.  Their finale is an unexpected and amazing cover of the  ’60s, Peruvian garage band, Los Saicos’s “Demolicion,” which sends me into a frenzy.    (Chris DeCarlo)

 

WE OWN LAND,
WHITE DYNOMITE

Majestic Liner Yacht, Newport, RI and Atlantic Ocean 5/12/12

I’ve been on a few booze cruises on the ferry in New Bedford in my life, but the cover bands were always an afterthought. On this yacht, or ferry, or spaceship, or whatever I’m on, I’m finally going to hear something good. Allow me to correct myself. With White Dynomite, I’m going to see something great. With the bassist of Roadsaw, you know these guys are not messing around, white suits or not. Heavy rock, not metal tinged with classic and southern rock influences like Black Oak Arkansas, Dust, Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and Glucifer. The boat was rocking and people were getting hammered, some of them in the bands, so I was a bit concerned for the safety of the passengers, but I think we all made it back safe. It was different, for me at least, to see some great bands on a big as boat cruising under the stars and the Newport Bridge. I caught a little of White Dynomite at the Pour Farm Tavern in New Beige a couple of weeks ago, but this is the first whole set I’ve seen. Damn, Gina, these guys are great.

We Own Land is a little less Cactus and a lot more Motorhead. These Newport natives do not fit the image many have of their town as they tried to take down the ship to the bottom of the sea. With energetic drumming, a dynamic frontman and relentless solos, We Own Land are bringing back punk influenced hard rock to Newport, and its about time. This three hour cruise was over way too soon, but at least I am with the movie star and Mary Ann. I guess that makes me the Professor.        (Eric Baylies)

 

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