One thing I love about Austin music scene are the great line-ups consisting of both local and national bands. This night was no different as the bill featured four quality bands. It was the musical equivalent of the Denny's Grand Slam breakfast. First band up: The Balcony. Unfortunately we only caught the end of their last song. Onto the next band: The Peekers!
These four guys and two ladies hail from Shreveport, LA. You might expect some foot-stompin' swamp rock from a Louisiana band but The Peekers are more indie pop. Maybe even some twee influence, most noticeably on "Marc Handsome". Other songs had a hint of blues and also some country. Four members contributed vocals which really worked well. I especially liked that the lead singer (we called him Mr. Grumpy) had the same delivery as Dave Malitz, former guitarist/singer of the late, great Fake Accents. All in all The Peekers conjured up quite the engaging musical mix. That being said...
There was something a little odd about them. My wife said they had an Osmond Family vibe. They're not as clean cut or creepy as the Osmonds, but there was something familial about the group. Maybe an indie rock version of The Silver Platters (aka the Brady Bunch) is more like it. They seemed more like siblings than band mates.
Jimbromski's interview with the lead singer, Erick Jordan, had me anxious check out The Rosewood Thieves. Quick description of The Rosewood Thieves: classic rock inspired with a bit of twang, effortless vocals, and a driving rhythm underneath catchy refrains. The band consists of your standard rock set-up: couple guitars, bass, and drums. However, they also use a Wurlitzer piano which adds just the right touch to each song. The most important element though is Jordan's vocals. A singer's voice is often the first thing that will turn me onto a band (or more often than not, turns me off). Jordan manages to be earnest without being overwrought.
The show provided a number of highlights. "Los Angeles", their most recognizable tune having been featured on Entourage and Grey's Anatomy (Sacklunch loves that show), was a crowd favorite. I most enjoyed when they shifted gears with "Honey, Stay Awhile":
Grabbing the crowds' full attention with a soft and mellow song showed impressive range. Too many times we go to shows where each song sounds the same as the last one. One of the great things about the Rosewood Thieves is the unique feel of each tune. They easily follow up a ballad with a rocker featuring wailing guitar and crashing drums and then transition to a roots rock song inspired by Dylan.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this show. I grew up hating classic rock. Outside of Dylan, I rarely listen to music from the 60's or 70's. My ignorance about the Beatles is shameful. I almost expected the music of the Rosewood Thieves to be lost on me. Not so. Even my wife, a classical musician who dislikes classic rock altogether, thoroughly enjoyed the show. Overall, I give the show a 7.8 - solid all around and has me looking forward to their next Austin gig. For everyone who missed their show at DC9 the other week - don't make the same mistake when they visit DC again this summer.
Ah, but wait! There's still one band to go. Headlining the show was Austin's own Frank Smith. As they started setting up I knew this would be a band that Potsy would enjoy. They use a myriad of instruments - drums, pedal steel guitar, harmonica, acoustic guitar, banjo, washboard, etc. Each instrument is utilized in their rollicking country-bluegrass-rock sound. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of their set since my wife is due in three weeks and it was well past her bedtime.However, I enjoyed the three or four songs we did hear. They'd be a perfect fit for out of the Federal Reserve Collective shows. One key point: The banjo player can shred. Right there is reason enough for me to head to their next show.