So, my friend says to me, "You have to come with me to see this band. They're amazing." Well, normally that's the recipe for a giant let down; but not this time. The Record Company's May 11 performance at The Great American Music Hall more than lived up to the hype.
The evening began with the band Strange Vine taking the stage. At first, the two-member band with Ian Blesse on drums, keyboards and vocals, and Toby Cordova on guitar and vocals appeared to be just a fill-in band. But it quickly became apparent they were more than that. This band has a sound that is uniquely their own. Combining Blues and classic Rock with elements of American Roots and even Gospel music made for an original and entertaining opening set.
The Record Company took the stage shortly after. And it didn't take them long to ignite the crowd. Their raw energy and rocking style, reminiscent of early Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green) had the audience stomping their feet and clapping their hands. Charismatic lead singer, Chris Voss, provided the link between the audience and band with his infectious dancing and crowd banter between songs. His transitions from slide acoustic, lap steel, electric guitar and harmonica showed that he is also a seriously talented musician. Bass player and vocalist Alex Stiff provided solid, creative bass lines that were a perfect fit to Voss's leads. Mark Cazorla handled the drum duties, with a driving, in-your-face style, that made you take notice.
Although often described as an American Rock band, it's easy to see these guys have a deep respect and admiration for traditional blues. But, their style doesn't seek to imitate early blues bands like The Yardbirds or John Mayall, but to reignite the genre for modern listeners to appreciate.
If either of these bands is performing live anywhere near you, check them out.
The Record Company also performed a few songs at Levi’s Lounge in San Francisco. The visit was part of the “Music Matters” series of KFOG, a radio station in SF. While The Record Company was less enthusiastic than when in front of a larger crowd, “Off the Ground” is a good example of the talent of the band.