I’ve been hearing a lot of good about this next band since they released their EP, Primary Colors, a few months back so after weighing the seductive offer of not having to drive into the city and unlimited sips of flasked whiskey, I jumped in the car and headed to The Delancey. Located right on 160 Delancey Street The East Side bar boasts a cool mixture of rooftop palm tree hipsters and rock and roll basement dwellers. The staff is cool and the drink prices are reasonable. Multi floors and low light ambience makes it one of the top hotspots in New York.
Cavalier Rose hails from the ultra hipster city of Brooklyn, but they are nothing like the generic label. Down home friendly, they appeal on a wide rock and roll level with their smoky slant on experimental and blues tinge alternative.
The vocal talents of Heather Christian are the front focus here as she moved from microphone center to piano, blending the uneasy grace of Beth Gibbons (Portishead) with the lush vibe of Morcheeba’s Skye Edwards, and the 1930’s spookiness of Billy Holiday. Her voice catches you off guard perfectly, like a haunted old record player crackling away in some dusty gin parlor. She actually got her start singing in her father’s blues group when she was a kid, and she brings that Mississippi backwater rasp to life with this band in a good way.
Co-founder and guitarist Gibbs Drinon showcased some gritty blues-based prowess on tunes like the title track for their new EP, answering Christian’s growl with Stratocaster-fueled fire and old school Buddy Guy tone.
Cavalier Rose also features New Jersey drummer Sarah Tomek, one of the best drummers I know and definitely a musician that leads from the back, swinging the group into complex signature changes on tunes like “Kiss Me In Closets,” a cool off tempo modulator that also saw vocalist Heather Christian break out her weird little microphone and spook the audience with her eerie gramophone-toned vocal.
Bassist and co-founder Chase McGowan is no nonsense and steady, laying down ominous jazz styled lines like the playing on “Sparrow,” a cut that’s also on the EP.
This is a young band with a very bright future. Melding imaginative composition ideas with individual talent and big presence, Cavalier Rose is a standout group from a city that’s gaining worldwide attention in the industry. Their new EP, Primary Colors is available for free as a download at their website. Go check them out over at myspace.com/cavalierrose.
Main Man’s Tribute To AC/DC—Powerage
It’s a bird! it’s a plane! Oh shit! It’s a pterodactyl and it’s flying right over my head! The Main Man Records tribute crew is back with a CD full of rock and roll damnation and all the way up to their necks in Sin City. Eleven tracks from some Jersey’s best down and raunchy rockers, all taking a shot at the Wily Aussies’ fifth studio release from 1978. And while there is a myriad of angst ridden AC/DC albums out there to choose from, those Main Man guys picked this latest work out of the tar pits and resurrected the dinosaurs with their usual sci-fi flair, pulling in a few cool names along the way.
Track number one features The Easy Outs with Bruce Ferguson (Trench) and Los Angeles transplant Bobby (the K) Kennedy, guitarist for The Chronic Sick, as well as several other West Coast debutantes, with their dead ahead version of “Rock And Roll Damnation.” These self confessed “tea lovers” play sonic rock and roll earned with years of hard livin’ experience and it doesn’t get better than that. Guitars, Marlboro Reds and Marshall amps equal good times.
“Down Payment Blues” by New York’s True Love was pretty damn eerie as well. Singer Ray Kubian is damn good, almost too good as he grinds out his throat full of Bon Scott crushed glass. This tune blows out good hard rock countermeasures and throws you far enough into the Powerage zone to satisfy fans of raucous vox and dirty good guitar work.
The Now Voyagers kicked their cut off country cool with nuances of ole’ Waylon and Kristofferson. This is what this type of record really means, interpretations of the originals with some of your own DNA left on the track. Gritty and raw, “Gimme A bullet” rumbles.
Porro Y Los BoBos cranks out the riff-laden monster “Riff Raff” like a step back into 1978 with the sound of Les Pauls and Marshall’s melting tubes. Other highlights were “What’s Next To The Moon” from New Jerseys own Frankenstein featuring the guitar attacks of Roth and Tafarro and the rock steady rhythms of Gascoyne and Hoagland. It doesn’t get much more closer to the beast than that.
Shawn Mars (Mars Need Women) lays down a great version of “Gone Shootin” reminding me that this guy is a fairly underrated guitarist (see what happens when you’re the lead singer) laying down bluesy vamps ala Tommy Bolin. He doesn’t list the band but whoever they are, they’re seasoned players.
Spin Doctors axe man Anthony Krizan, as well as Meat Loaf backing vocalist C.C. Colletti, submitted a smoking interpretation of “Sin City” full of golden sounded Gibson’s and old school flavor, showing a different side of the “Pocket Full Of Kryptonite” kid as CC Colletti just lays it down in the rusty vein of Joan Jett and Janis Joplin.
Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper) and Dimma track, “It’s A Long Way To The Top” (yeah it wasn’t on the original album but as Main Man says, “When Dennis Dunaway wants to do a song, you jump at the chance.”) Featuring lead vocals by Icelander Hjalti Omar (Dimma) I can hear the vintage amps cookin’ from brothers Ingo & Silli Geirdal on this one. There’s more on here, but we’re out of space.
If you’re a fan of those good ole’ days of rock and roll and you cant get squeeze enough AC/DC out of your parents’ basement, then go get this disc now. Check the site for various performances and purchase info. mainmanrecords.com.