Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Band (of Heathens)

I had researched a bit about the band that was due to open for The Fabulous Thunderbirds at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater in College Station and knew to expect a talented group that was the latest "Buzz" out of Austin. They absolutely lived up to their billing and pretty much impressed the substantial crowd at the site, which is a really fine venue operated by the College Station parks department complete with a moat that separates the stars on stage from the stargazers.

Back in the day, when I wrote a little more often on my live music experiences, I would have had a pen and tablet in hand jotting down impressions as they happened and duly noting set lists. It's more enjoyable to just let it flow and relate from memory--faulty or not. Not as much need to go into background, bio information because all that is available at a mouse click. Let me just say that these guys are going to be stars--if not as a group, then individually. As a group, though, they have a remarkable chemistry that works on all levels.

Take the Band, Little Feat, mix in a touch of Lynard Skynard and mash it all together and you'll have an idea of what the Band of Heathens sound like. Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks take turns singing on each others songs that I'm certain will end up on radio playlists frequently. All three play guitar on stage in various combinations of the stringed instrument--acoustic, dobro, electric Fenders, electric slide, lap steel, etc...with Brooks strapping on the most variety. All three demostrated complete command of the instruments and making them work harmoniously and harmony can absolutely be applied to their vocals, as most of the songs had a chorus that everyone joined in on, included bassman, Seth Whitney, and drummer, John Chipman. They made joyful, glorious, toneful sounds when they all chimed into the rhythm.

I'll be honest in saying that I'm not sure who was who during the proceedings and I'm a little too lazy right now to conduct the reseach by listening to their cd for the fourth time today. Last night, though, one of the guys had an excellent voice for the bluesy stuff that they laid out, another gave 'em a country feel and the other got them rock and rolling. Bottom line is this: They ain't the blues, but they could do it and anything else Americana. They COULD sing, COULD play the hell out of guitars and did it all on very well written songs. Just go and check them out at: . Anyway--Up Next: The T-Birds.

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