The Delta Saints - This Nashville quintet has that 'south of the Mason-Dixon line' feeling throughout their 40 minute set. In addition to the solid electric blues-rock style, the extra element that won me over was a ferocious rock sound. In fact, the rhythm section may have a been a bit too loud in the mix, but I prefer errors in that direction. They had a full-time harmonica player who added a little percussion as well. Normally, the harmonica is one of my leas favorite instruments, but not here. When a person knows how to play it and it is their instrument as opposed to a noisy prop for a folk singer/guitarist, it can really work well. The sound breathed and pulsed within the roar of the guitars, drums, and bass. It was a pleasure to see a sizable crowd tonight show up for a Friday night of fun, and this band was perfectly placed to start the night off right.
The Dirty Guv'nahs - It is nice to see a band from Knoxville, one of the three largest cities in Tennessee that is just a bit behind Nashville and Memphis is musical reputation. But this band does the city or any city proud with their nice concoction of R&B, rock, Americana, spiced with a dash of soul. I liked the keyboards, especially the organ parts as they cut through a balanced mix of the basic rock instrumentation. The vocals were soulful and expressive and could carry the song when pushed. There was a little more give and take in the rhythms of these songs compared to the opening band, but these are highly complimentary bands. And the room was nearly full by now with many happy patrons showing off a few more moves than that of most DC crowds. Thus, we have a perfect Friday night antidote to a long week. We have all heard variations of this before, but the formula is not even close to broke, so quality players that back it up with good songwriting will always pull the rhythmically hungered masses into the clubs. Live music was live and well tonight.
Quote of the Night: From the Delta Saints... "We're gonna play you a song about getting drunk in the city of New Orleans."