Monday, February 04, 2008

Rockin' the blues

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank to see the rock n' roll. My dear heart is a big fan of live concerts; me, not so much, but it's something I'm learning to enjoy with her. The three young fellows emerging from the golden haze in the following photograph were the opening act.

This is something you need to own, quickly

I'm used to typical opening acts. For example, we've seen HIM twice and each time the opening acts were atrocious. Well, these guys were the exact opposite of atrocious. Back Door Slam is a blues power trio from the Isle of Man, none of them older than 20, and they are filthy good.

Davy Knowles (guitar/vocals) handles the songwriting, and both his composing and performing are incredible, especially for such a young guy. The drum chair is held by Ross Doyle, a gregarious man with excellent timing and a gift for playing well without indulging in fireworks. (Not that a four-song set offers much opportunity, but there you are.) And the bassist, Adam Jones, just keeps things in the groove - he reminds me most of a young John Entwistle in that he's rock-solid and stays happily in the background.

The band played three songs off the album pictured above: Come Home, Heavy on My Mind, and It'll All Come Around, and added the Robert Cray tune that gave them their name. Afterward, they slipped out to the lobby to sell CDs - fifteen bucks got us a disc AND a poster with all three kids' signatures. Since they were all there, I also asked them to sign the CD insert (they did so on the inside), and told them that they were made of awesome. Knowles especially was gracious about it - he looks no older than any of the kids giving you fries with that at your local drive-through, and seems genuinely staggered that people enjoy his band. He hasn't lost that "this is the coolest thing EVER" vibe, and I dig that.

In a couple of years, it'll take 100 bucks and a crowbar to get a signed CD and poster at one of their gigs, so act now. Seriously. This is some terrific blues. ***½ out of four, only because I want to be able to go up when they blow us all away with the second album.

Oh, and the headliners? Some old dudes...

Not pictured: anything remotely associated with Mr. Roboto

Steeks? Stikes? Something like that.

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