Opening band The Roughnotes served up an energized set of alt country, rockabilly, wailing blues and even a little reggae with “Winona,” a tribute to Winona Ryder, and some old time rock ‘n roll with “Get A Job” and Beatles cover “I Saw Her Standing There.” Shouts to this awesome three-piece band: Colin Brady (vocals/guitar), Paul Pitre (back-up vocals/bass – and keys on the CD) and Matt Wills (drums), who brought some big audience love by offering their self-titled CD – for free! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for The Roughnotes.
Red Falcon / White Lightning – fronted by Robert Eckert on bass, and Jeff D. Elliott on lead vocals and guitar – doubled our pleasure with all original tunes from their two-pack CD Rootsy!!! Rocky!!!! & Power!!! Poppy!!!! , complete with custom t-shirts (Eckert is Red Falcon & Elliott is White Lightning) and RF / WF banners. The band was rounded out by an impressive selection of musicians/vocalists, including guitars and back-up vocals by Nelson Sobral (also of the band Melting Pot & the duo Cry Wolf) and Hugh Wilson (Big Name Actors), Kevin Jagger on drums, Pete Gorman on keys, and Jake Warwick jumping in for a few songs on back-up vocals and harp.
Kicking the set off on the roots/rock side of the spectrum, the band opened with “The Ballad of Red Falcon White Lightning,” an anthem with a driving beat and harmonies that bring to mind Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The band continued giving us a sampling of the two discs, which I’m listening to as I write this post; the CD set features some nice sax and horn arrangements, especially on the Power!!! Poppy!!!! disc. Love the whimsy of the kazoo arrangement on the Rootsy!!! Rocky!!!! first track “Run Back Jack” and the haunting harmonies on “Always Missing Out” – and there’s a trippy psychedelic vocal riff on “Pretty Big Shoes To Fill.” And there’s a fun, surprise message at the end of the RR disc too. 🙂
On the Power!!! Poppy!!!! disc, “Flame Without A Fire” features heart-pounding rhythms and more tight harmonies (I should note here that my left foot did not stop tappin’ all through the concert – even when I was taking pics!). “I Live With My Girl” has a great kicky pop sound, reminding me of Simon and Garfunkle. With lyrics full of heart and soul, accompanied by infectious beats, whether about a girl like in “Sooner or Later” or getting the audience to join in on “To the Moon” – I defy anyone to stay still while immersed in the joyful noise sounds of this band.
These guys can most definitely rock. With a powerful, eclectic sound, supported by stellar vocals and musicianship, Red Falcon / White Lightning is definitely a band to watch out for. You can also check them out on their YouTube channel and Bandcamp page.