County - This is actually a solo guitar and vocals outing from a member of County, whose very name makes for internet research difficult that I'm not willing to expend effort on today. More importantly, this was a fine set of music that was a pleasure to listen to. He has a Dino Valente style voice, rich and powerful with just enough range. The guitars varied from electric to acoustic, all adding a strong and steady melodic focus to work off of. He stretched the first two songs into mini-epic length, but was able to hold attention throughout. Good job and I am sure the full band experience would also be a lovely time.
Jesse Marchant - This is actually a full band effort from Mr. Marchant on this tour and quite a band it is. Marchant begins in a folk rock vein by showcasing his rich singing voice, which is quite similar to the opener. He has even more assured restraint that the band is more than capable of complementing. They control the volume and build rising tension and highlights as well as anybody I've seen recently. There is plenty of outright rock moments as they can crank up the volume as well as create intriguing guitar moves and pulsating rhythms. They remind me a bit of a 60s artist named Beau who did two albums of folk and psyche-folk. He had two songs that had gonzo electric moments on them, which would have worked perfectly in this set. There was a modest crowd into this music in a big way and if it gets heard by enough people, Jesse Marchant will become a major draw, quite soon. There is just too much quality in song and playing not to connect with a wide audience.
Quote of the Night: From the opener... "Thanks for coming out and being quiet--that's cool" ... about 5 minutes after I told the people behind me to please keep it down as I'm trying to LISTEN.