Brittany Jean - I have not seen Ms. Brittany Jean in a while, nor her three-piece band also named Brittany Jean. It looks like the same trio with Brittany singing and playing acoustic guitar, a guy on drums, and a guy on electric guitar. They begin with a familiar cut, "Paris Stairs" that you can hear at their website. They have a classic singer-songwriter style that is folkie but with plenty of intense rock moves as well. The drums are strong and the electric guitarist has a great style of playing interesting tonal patterns or choosing off-setting chords which subtly create a more ambient environment. I believe the last cut had a section where his finger picking created a psychedelic violin like sound. But the vocals and songs shine strong and clear throughout. They are immediate, heartfelt and about anything you would want from this style. I don't see a whole lot less here than from platinum selling artists in this field (if sales are high enough for platinum these days). Oh, and the new material sounds quite good, especially the rocking closer.
Council Bluffs - This four-piece hit the ground running and did not let up a bit for their 42-minute set. Twin guitar blasts are clearly in a hard rocking-power pop hybrid with catchy vocals and songwriting that heads toward Buzzcocks territory, especially in the vocal phrasing. There is a lot of this out there and even the low end of it is a lot of fun. Fortunately this is above the average with some nice guitar jabs and sinewy lead runs punctuating the flowing rock crunch. There is some classic rock within, but the pace and energy are always there so everything is fresh and enjoyable.
The Silver Liners - This is my fifth time already and although it gets a little tiring trying to come up with new things to say about a band's music, I am sure I will be back for shows number six, seven.... I recall thinking that the last show really was a step up for the band. Initially, they seemed to play awfully good and catchy rock music that had a mainstream appeal, but was interesting enough at the indie level. They then went on to prove that plenty of practice and regular gigging can work wonders for young bands. They now have a strong edge to their music and audiences can feel the comfort they have working with each other and delivering their quality tunes. And clubs are discovering this, too, as the band drew more than 100 people tonight. They have gone from playing to their friends to playing for a real fanbase. It's a deserved reward and hopefully will continue as they keep honing their craft and working the clubs. The new keyboard player seemed to fit in well, although the sound tonight was a little iffy at first, but worked out better as the set wore on. Even the cover of "Burning Down the House" showed a nice personal touch as I actually enjoyed their version more than the original. Another fine night with more to come as I'll have to come up with some new ways to review this band. But for now, just head out to their show and enjoy.
Quote of the Night: "Yeah, we know this guy." From the helpful staff at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel. Where this an actual hotel, I would have been well served to just get a room here the past 4 nights. But a different set of clubs coming up this week.