Regular Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog Jennifer is taking a well-deserved vacation, and NTSIB friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to contribute his favorite photos of 2010 from his own collection. In addition to being a hell of a nice guy, Nate is a great photographer, and we’re very pleased to feature him again.
The Black Keys:
To Summarize: this band kicks ass. They have since 2002, and they are finally getting their due respect on a wider scale in 2010. Their most recent release, Brothers, opened them up to popular outlets, due to its groove-thick gnarly sound and the hit single Tighten Up; but don’t be fooled- their catalogue prior to this year’s album is disgustingly good. Get learned if you haven’t already.
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three:
After successfully touring the US and the UK, as well as having been named Best New Discovery at 2010’s Newport Folk Festival, this St. Louis-based American Roots Music band is definitely a band to look for. Absolutely awesome to see live- energetic, tight on stage, and good musicians to the core… and just as good to put on your turntable or in your headphones. Check “La La Blues” from their album Riverboat Soul if you want to sing and clap along as you get on down! And keep your eyes peeled for their upcoming releases in 2011 – ya heard me??!!
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound:
This Chicago Rhythm and Soul group is another hot ticket to see. Funky as you ever wanted to see on stage, a sound that’s vaguely familiar, but also fresh and its own. You’ll be swayin’ and head bobbin until it’s an all out get down in your own right! Good stuff for sure. Their album is dope! And they are playin’ out in cities right now.
A soulful Nashville bluesman, Sweany is a name that you should look up. Having as much comfort on the 6 string as anyone out there today, and a comfortable banter with his audience – you are sure to see a good set when he takes the stage. His new album Southern Drag officially drops in Feb. 2011, but he’s currently out on the road touring and could be headed your way. Look him up.
If you saw these three gals and one fella in 2010, you most likely saw them in a smaller to mid-sized venue… and I’ll bet it was packed… and I guarantee it was rowdy! They wail live – no doubt, and will hit you with an assault of songs that’ll soak you with country punk and soul… right after they spray their beer on ya from the stage. After basically going on a world wide tour in 2010, they just released a 7”, and I hear that there’s also a full length to follow.
Jessica Lea Mayfield:
After a critically acclaimed debut album, Mayfield toured the world far and wide, played with various big namers of many genres and stole many hearts along the way. Her dark folk sound has a familiarity that we all can relate to and a melody that we will all want to hum or sing along with. With a major label release coming early in 2011, she will certainly be doing some amazing things this next turn of the calendar.
Indie-folk songstress Cassie Morgan had quite a successful 2010. Her band, Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine, spent the majority of the year backing the release of her full length album debut Weathered Hands, Weary Eyes. Morgan (along with band mate Beth Bombara) played with a variety of well known national acts in her home city of St. Louis and embarked on a tour through the great Midwest. While ending up (deservingly) on many–o-critic’s year end best of lists, look for more great things from her in 2011.
Cleveland, Ohio, rockers (and April’s new favorite!) mr. Gnome will melt your heart and melt your face. Creating walls of growling sonic beauty, this duo is one of the best stage bands you’ll find night in and night out. That good, no question. Screaming guitar and howling female vocals, with a pulsating complex drumming style –you’ll be standing second row before you know it… head bobbing and all!
Detroit is known for its soul and rock-n-roll. The Sights give you just that. I wasn’t familiar with this band until seeing them rip up the stage as part of the Beat ‘N’ Soul event at St. Louis’ premier venue Off Broadway, but when they stepped off stage, I was floored. They stomped, they pounded, they hollered and they won the crowd – all in the matter of 35 or 40 minutes. I will definitely make it a point to see them this year, and you may want to consider the same.
photo copyright Nate Burrell – taken for KDHX Media, St. Louis, MO