Last night was supposed to be just another show in my life. I had no prior thoughts on the bands and had no attachment to either of the bands. I was honestly just happy to get out of the house and grab a couple drinks with a friend with some music going on in the background. That’s how it was supposed to go but everything changed the second the bands took the stage.
All Them Witches was the headliner last night and completely blew me away. They are a rock, blues, Americana, psychedelic (Let’s be honest, there’s no way to categorize them) four-piece group from Nashville, TN.
Being a piano player, I was completely captivated by Allan Van Cleave’s amazing piano skills. It was nice to see a band where, even though the piano parts weren’t the biggest part of the songs, you could still hear every note and truly appreciate Allan’s talent.
Robby Staebler was a complete beast on the drum set. Even though the music seemed a bit ambient at times, Robby was pounding the crap out of those drums but didn’t let it become too overwhelming. He was the first drummer I’ve ever who turned the snares off on his snare drum during quiet parts of songs or when he wasn’t playing. That doesn’t sound like anything special but it truly added to the amazing musicianship throughout the set.
Guitarist Ben McLeod seemed to cling to the shadows of the stage for the set. He didn’t move around much and he didn’t pull much attention to himself until you realized what he was doing. There were amazing, detailed guitar rifts coming out of his amp but, like I said, you would have no clue because he did it from the shadows. Usually I hate this, I hate great musicians who refuse to make themselves known while on stage but last night it worked perfectly. No one in the band tried to stand out. It was almost as if they took the stage thinking they would just be background music…. but they weren’t.
Singer/ bassist Charles Michael Parks, Jr. commanded the crowd from the second he stepped onto the stage. Although his vocals left a little to be desired as they were hard to hear and few and far between, his skills on the bass were immeasurable. His southern swagger was alive and well. He came off as a true southern gentleman when he would quietly, yet sincerely, thank the packed house for coming out.
All Them Witches was on tour promoting their newest album Dying Surfer Meets His Maker but they played songs from all of their releases and a few brand spanking new ones.
Opening the show was New Madrid from Athens, Georgia. New Madrid seemed to lean more towards the psychedelic rock end of the spectrum. This four piece quietly took the stage and wowed the audience with their vocal harmonies that were good enough to give you goosebumps.
I’ve never really understood what it means for music to be “textural” but I think I get it now after listening to New Madrid. There were layers upon layers in their music even though they were only a four piece group. It sounded like there were at least twelve musicians on that stage but in actuality, it was just the four of them.
New Madrid are out on the road to promote their 2014 release on Normaltown Records, Sunswimmer. Make sure you keep your eye on these guys. They are due for a new album and I’m sure it will be nothing short of amazing.
All in all, All Them Witches completely killed it and New Madrid was a great addition to the show. I just wanted to have a couple drinks with a friend last night but ended up being completely mesmerized by the music coming from the stage. That’s how a good show is supposed to be. Last night was a good show… no, it was a great show.
Venue: Turf Club
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- None
Found in the Pit- N/A
Average Age- 30
Overall Score- 7.7 out of 10