Saturday, November 20, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
This weekend, I celebrated two nights of Beat and Soul action at the Off Broadway. Here are the highlights of the festival for me.
From my favorite city in the world, Memphis, TN comes the River City Tanlines. RCT's hit us with a no bullshit set of hard rocking garage punk with good pop sensibilities.
Also from Memphis, the Bo-Keys which features some legendary musicians of the soul genre. Charles "Skip" Pitts, who is responsible for laying down that funky wah-wah guitar on the Isaac Hayes classic Shaft. He was also a guitarist for the Isley Brothers prior to Ernie Isley taking over on lead guitar. Another, is the legendary Ben Cauley who is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed Otis Redding and the majority of his live backing band, the Bar-Kays. Bassist, James Alexander was on another plane. The Bo-Keys laid down some original Booker T & the MG's styled instrumentals as well as some of the material the members played on. Skip Pitts of course played Shaft and It's your Thing by the Isley Brothers. Ben Cauley sang a stunning version of Otis Redding's These Arms of Mine and later, Sitting On The Dock of the Bay.
Charles Walker & the Dynamites laid down some pretty solid soul and an excellent version of Tyrone Davis' A Woman Needs To Be Loved. Charles cut a lot of records back in the 60's and 70's but had never really hit the big time. As you know, that makes not one bit of difference to me.
Night two of the Beat 'N' Soul fest was heavy on the beat side of things. Kicking things off was a band I've seen many times before. St. Louis' own, the Nevermores.
Picking up right where the Nevermores left off was Philadelphia, PA garage rockers Mondo Topless. Mondo Topless delivered an energetic set that included a garaged up rendition of the Bad Brains tune Pay To Cum!
Following Mondo Topless was Detroit rock band the Sights. The Sights had a sound derived from the 1970's but not necessarily in a bad way. Take one part blues rock and add a touch of power pop and you get the idea.
I'll be the first to admit, I've never been a huge fan of the Fleshtones on record. What their recordings lack in rawness and energy, they certainly leave at their live shows. These guys were all over the place and were an excellent choice to close the weekends festivities.
Time out for push ups during their song Push Up Man