For fans of bands like the Allman Brothers, Tedeschi-Trucks, and Widespread Panic, this Atlanta-based Jam-Rock band, playing Saturday March 25 at The Listening Room at Irish Bred Pub (8 p.m.), is a must-see show. The last time the group played here, back in July, reserved tickets sold out, so you might want to go ahead and look into getting some tickets by going to the Listening Room's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/listeningroomibp).
This group has a Covington connection as one of the founding members is the bass player, Bill Taylor. Several of you probably know and remember Bill and his family. He's a really cool dude and one heck of a bass player! He founded the group with drummer Mike Davis several years back. As a rhythm section, these two are one of the best I've ever seen. Both are quite proficient and can really impress with their chops, but they are always together - an interlocking bass & drum machine, as it should be, and they lay down the foundation for the band's excellent sound.
Speaking of the band's sound, many have described it as Jam Rock or Roots Rock, and that's certainly an apt description; however, there are other elements in play as well, in this writer's estimation. For one thing, the group has decided Pop sensibilities, and there's nothing wrong with that. While they have the ability to explore and expand songs with their jamming and feeding off each other, these songs themselves are well crafted with an emphasis placed on vocal melodies, smart chord progressions, and the aforementioned rhythmic elements. It's a marvelous sound! And under the current, at least, there are some Jazz elements as well. As I mentioned in an article last year, I'm a big, big fan of The Bitteroots. Ever since I first saw them almost two years ago in Milledgeville, GA, I count them as one of my favorite groups. And I'm not just talking Georgia bands, or unsigned bands, I'm talking all-time. Seriously, they're that good.
But perhaps the key to this band's superb sound is the lead singer, Laura Dees. She is so good! Comparisons have been drawn to Melissa Etheridge and Janis Joplin, but Laura really has a sound all her own. Her range is very impressive, but the power of her voice is what really takes it over the top. A very strong voice, with depth and warmth, she is an absolute joy the hear. She's also very fun the watch. Her stage presence is incredible; she's always engaged with the crowd. And you can tell she's giving it 110% every time, always turned to 11, if you will. It's something else...
Rounding out the group – but in no way any less important – are two other members. Perhaps the Piece De Resistance of The Bitteroots is saxophonist Darron Nuhfer. You might not normally expect a sax in this type of group, but trust me - it works. It thickens and warms the sound just right, melodically, as well as rhythmically. It's just right. The final piece of the puzzle is a newcomer to the group. Filling the big shoes left by lead guitarist Kyle Bryant, is Greg Sims. Whereas Bryant may have been more on the Jazz-Fusion side of things, Sims is more in the style of Warren Haynes and Duane Allman. Man, that sounds good!
A typical show for The Bitteroots is usually more focused on originals, but for their Covington shows, they like to throw in a lot of covers. And I mean good covers. Their last show here saw tunes by The Funky Meters, Derek and the Dominoes, the Stones, and Adele. You should expect to see a great set list. But don't forget about their originals, though. Tunes like "Defenseless," "Desperate," "This Town," and "Try Me Again" will blow you away.
So folks, I'm here to tell you that this is truly a "Must-See Show!" Again, you might want to look into securing some tickets if you're interested in going. And oh my, it looks like I've hit my space limit. Oh well, it happens like that sometimes. Tune into Covnews.com next week for info on some of the other great shows going on in our neck of the woods. Enjoy the tunes, my friends, and we'll see you next time.
Marshall McCart wears many hats, but being a musician & musical enthusiast are chief among them.