Red Rooster - Salt of the earth Americana band with lots of musicians on the small R&B stage. The acoustic guitarist sang most lead vocals with the female accordianist chipping in some lead and a lot of harmony backup vocals. There was also bass, drums, banjo, trumpet and percussion and a keyboardist who was sitting in with no prior rehearsal. I sometimes get a little nervous with Americana, waiting for the songs to annoy me. But the lack of a pedal steel guitar and lack of corny sentimental twang kept me immersed in the music. The woman was Susannah Hornsby who wore a 1986 Bruce Hornsby tour shirt. Seems like I need to do some research. 20 seconds later and yes, she is the niece of Bruce Hornsby. She was a good vocalist and the lead singer had a very rich voice which steadily brought the listener in. Less interesting was the cover of "Midnight Special", but the crowd liked it and it gave the set a bit of diversity. The club was packed solid and enjoying every minute--rightly so. This band should win over people who don't think they like roots music.
Little Bigheart & the Wilderbeast - Not Wildebeest, the Australian psyche rock legends of old and now the name of at least three other bands, but a more complex named band that looks google-proof to me. These young men are a four-piece with a couple guitars, drums and a bassist who plays a keyboard additionally and I think ideally (read in a studio) would do both simultaneously. The axe-men all sing and the best of their songwriting so far seems to be in the vocal arrangements. I was chatting with the drummer who basically said this was their first real club show and they have only been writing a short time. The music is very seventies progressive with good guitar attack. Trying to find progressive comparisons is tricky and since they did a song cycle to start the set, I had roughly a Rick Wakeman feel with their music. Of course, you had blaring guitars rather than banks of keyboards, blonde hair and flowing robes. But even with the guitars it had more of that feel as opposed to the Who or Rush or the Pretty Things or others that did song cycle prog-rock themes. Anyway, this was a very nice club outing for this band. The crowd enjoyed it (even if it was jammed with lots of friends) and they can easily progress into a well liked band in DC. They are off to the studio soon and between that lesson, more gigging, more writing, we will await their eventual growth. I will stop now as there is something about progressive music that even makes me want to write like Caravan or PFM played.
Quote of the night: I can't read my writing of the quote I wanted to use (it is easier to read sanskrit) so the Red Rooster singer also said: "This is ostensibly our Washington DC CD release party." Nothing profound here, but points for using the word "ostensibly" and creating a mirror effect in the quote.