With Album Release Upcoming, Cadence Blues Band Has Nothing to Cry About

The Cadence Blues Band (@TheCadenceBlues) may be a newcomer to the Columbus music scene, but their style and sound prove they have an old school mindset. There is already a buzz surrounding the trio as their EP The Seed officially drops next Friday, November 11 at a live show at The Shrunken Head. The young, psychedelic bluesy rockers have the talent to make a good run on the festival and dive scene, which means steady coin for years to come.

The EP starts off moody and haunting courtesy of the over five-minute piece titled ‘No Need’. This tune is a vehicle for vocalist Tony Gregorc to show off. It is the record’s ultimate campfire hippie anthem. This should be no surprise to its growing fan base as per the band’s Facebook profile, the group lists Hendrix and Zeppelin among their influences. One who pays attentions to the song’s lyrics will understand how relevant they were 50 years ago and now, especially with Election Day creeping up.

The pace picks up with track ‘So Damn Excited!’, a hybrid of blues meeting classic rock. If Q-FM 96 ever added this song into its rotation, it would fit into the playlist flawlessly. That stations’ avid listeners are people who thrived in the bar scene and Columbus needs to have throwbacks show millennials how it’s done.

‘Makenna’ is notable for drummer Ty Phillips-Bond’s on-point percussion, but of course he does a solid job from top to bottom on the album. Gregorc’s range gets put to the test on the track, despite this being The Seed’s shortest song. Taking the speed down a couple of notches is the song ‘(More Than) Just a Word’, which sounds like a sped-up ballad that people can move their bodies to.

Lastly, ‘How to Be a Rolling Stone’ is a genius mashup that demonstrates a 1970s attitude with 1990s arrangement. The song is so brilliant, it would be deemed a hit in both distinct decades. Gregorc and bassist Steve Simeon’s vocals are sheer perfection on the album’s final track.

When The Cadence Blues Band takes the stage in one week’s time, if the audience close their eyes and open their minds they will think they are back at the original (and best) Woodstock. They will be joined by solid opening acts Mystic Mamba and Punchdrunk Tagalongs. Per the group’s Twitter bio, Cadence describe themselves as, “A high energy, groove inducing, retro style blues-rock trio formed in Columbus, OH that creates soulful songs with a message, and performs them with feeling!” It is crystal clear The Seed captured this and a whole lot more, but that the live show will be even groovier.


Sam and The Barbers Definitely Make The Cut

Indie rock trio Sam and The Barbers (@samandbarbers) have provided a sample of what they have to offer the industry on their new four-song EP End of the World and alternative music’s future is great shape because of it. What vocalist/guitarist Derrick Walter, drummer Brett Williams, and synthesist Paul Strawser have constructed demonstrates a bright outlook for them in the years to come.

The band’s name is an ironic one as at no time since their inception has any band member been named Sam and none of them are or have been hair stylists. According to their October 2015 video interview with the university’s publication The Lantern, the band is named for American composer Samuel Barber, who Walter noticed had a noun for his last name and thought it was a good idea to keep the same band name format that has worked for Katrina & The Waves, Huey Lewis & News, among others.  The Columbus, OH band was formed by high school friends and former Ohio State University undergrads Walter and Williams. During their college stint and after several lineup changes, fellow student Strawser joined and magic has been made ever since. That has resulted in positive feedback for their high energy, spot-on live shows around town and now critical acclaim for the EP released just this year.

End of the World has potential radio hits across the board all the while maintaining musical integrity sometimes lost in mainstream music. The opening track titled ‘Everyone Here’ is a synthesizer and drum driven tune that has teenage rom-com soundtrack written all over it, and that is a good thing. Walter’s guitar-playing comes in about 90 seconds into it and takes the track to another level. His solid lead vocals give it a boost to create some static on the Alternative and Adult Rock radio charts.  The EP’s title track is a faster-paced synth-laden track that should also not be ignored by rock radio and by alternative music lovers.

It is End of the World’s middle two tracks that with the right people backing them will make Sam and The Barbers well-known. ‘I Promise I’ll Never Promise Again’ is a high-energy modern rock track that exudes influence from Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, and the like. ‘1982’, written by Walter, is a fun throwback that has a 1980s new wave vibe to it yet has enough relevance to be a surefire Top 10 Alternative smash and cross over to CHR Pop stations (you know, the ones that carry Ryan Seacrest’s ‘American Top 40’).

During their live shows, Sam and The Barbers have included a handful of other catchy rock tracks along with a unique take on the Talking Heads tune ‘Once in A Lifetime’. The next chance alternative rock enthusiasts can see and hear the hoopla for themselves is Saturday, June 18 when they invade Woodlands Tavern to open a show featuring Chicago pop punk quintet Aiming For Average and local rockers Two Years Later. It is in modern rock fans’ best interest to become familiar with these three upstanding and talented gentlemen before their careers explode and they become inaccessible.

Artist on the Rise: The Receiver

@thereceiver  is an American alternative band from Columbus, Ohio that has two full-length records and nine years under their belt. This year, they intend to drop another album and it is sure to match the quality of their previous efforts. The band has been signed to independent label deals and has performed gigs with the likes of Tel Aviv and St. Vincent. Given the critical acclaim of the group, this looks to be a huge year that could open even more doors for them.

The group consists of brothers Casey Cooper (vocals, keyboards, and bass), Jesse Cooper (drums), and sometimes Sean Gardner, who does a bit of everything. Their sound can best be described as sophisticated alternative music that is definitely digitally influenced. With the proper label support and marketing, “Visitor” could have easily been a Top 20 hit on the modern rock charts. “Length of Arms”, the title track to their second record, is more synthesizer-laden but still has a radio-friendly element to it. In addition, The Receiver has had music featured on the now-defunct cable series “Dirt” along with numerous independent films.

In 2009, The Receiver was declared the Best Local Band by the highly regarded ColumbusUnderground.com and for a time was a Band on The Rise on MTV2. Given what the Coopers have displayed thus far, the anticipation for the third record is high. The expectations for the album should be high as well. The group has created some unique and remarkable tunes thus far and a make-or-break record like this one can not disappoint.

They have played over 200 gigs in the last five years, which is a lot for a group on small labels. They continue to play around town to avoid rust and they have three shows in their hometown lined up for next month. Due up on Friday, May 2 is a performance at the soon-to-close Kobo with critically acclaimed Mount Carmel. Indie music lovers should enjoy The Receiver while they can because there is no reason they can not be a huge as fellow local duo Twenty One Pilots and take off touring all over the place. All it takes is one break and given what they have put out thus far, The Receiver have definitely earned a chance to make it big.

Review of Mount Carmel, Nick Tolford & Company, Bummers, and Mama at Woodland’s Tavern – Columbus, OH (3/28/14)

This past Friday night, a splendid four hours of jams were produced by four brilliant local music acts. They all brought a little something different to the table and wholeheartedly delivered sets people not in attendance will regret not witnessing.  After each performance, it is safe to say that the central Ohio music scene is back on track and should be in good hands for years to come.









The quartet named Mama was first up and played to a dozen plus early birds, but laid it all on the stage like they were performing in front of thousands at the original Woodstock. The group might have a modern look, but their sound is totally vintage and it was performed flawlessly. Their female drummer banged that kit like crazy and one could tell she was totally feeling the vibe of her bandmates.  The lead singer, whose mustache gave off a Freddie Mercury look, had a voice reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix. Although the band did not have a record for sale at the gig, had there been one can surely bet that word of mouth would have driven sales of said record. Once a CD from this four-piece is available, not getting an earshot of it is a dire mistake.









Psychedelic surfer rockers Bummers (@bummersmusic) were second on the bill and the fashionably late Woodlands crowd started to file in anticipating an energetic set from this four-man act. This group of fun-loving jammers are coming off performances at SXSW where they were certain to entertain and turn some heads.  They certainly did their share of head turning of the crowd and then some.  The group implied although their album is complete, it will be some time before the masses can get an earful of it.  Bummers are very smart in allowing a delayed gratification for their fans to help generate and maintain the buzz surrounding their music. Once the record is out later this year, it is sure to be a local bestseller. If they rocked Austin the way the rocked Woodlands, there is little doubt a label deal is imminent.









Sextet Nick Tolford & Co. (@TolfordAndCo) were up next on the list and their sound was reminiscent of critically acclaimed Josh Dodes and Fitz & The Tantrums. Honestly, Tolford was more over with the crowd than the headliner, as evident of his constant interaction with them. Everyone on stage seemed to have a great time putting on a performance for the audience and were handsomely rewarded for it.  Tolford’s backup singers were fantabulous in their style as well as with their pipes. It was great seeing Leslie Jankowski, ex-frontwoman of Frostiva and Behind You With Knives, back on stage.  She seemed genuinely happy to entertain again and here is hoping that although she keeps working with this band, perhaps she will strap on a guitar one more time as leader of her own group.









The band everyone came to see, Mount Carmel (@mountcarmelswag), was fascinating from beginning to end of their set. Most of the material came from the trio’s new record, Get Pure, which was released that evening. The Brothers Reed and James McCain brought everything and the kitchen sink to their performance. They are described as a throwback to power rock with a blues influence.  After checking out some of their tracks from years gone by, Mount Carmel’s lead singer brought some heavier sounding vocals that heard on prior tracks.  Purchasers of Get Pure should expect a bluesy metal approach on this CD that is more fist pounding than previously released material.

This was a solid gig from the get-go and was totally worth the hype. It was probably the best $10.00 well spent at a local show in a long, long time.  Those who could not be in attendance ought to take some time to seek these artists out online for booking information, tracks, as well as upcoming events.  It is a show that may have caused a case of Tinnitus, but the experience was definitely one to be had.




Artist to Watch: The Shapers

Paris trio The Shapers (@theshapers) look to be in good shape for a major run in 2014. Guitarist/vocalist Anthony, drummer Benoit, and Raphael on bass keep the old school punk movement alive while placing their own flair on tunes inspired by Green Day, Rancid, and the like. In this day and age of emo, electronica, and poppy rock raiding the airwaves, The Shapers are exactly what mainstream radio need to bring a sense of diversity back to the music scene. Then again, what makes The Shapers’ music great is that the many of the punk genre’s artists, for the most part, are disinterested in playing the mainstream music games and politics.

The Shapers were founded in 2009 and three years later released the full-length Everybody Needs to Have a Dream. This is a record that critic Katie Burkhart holds in high regard by saying, “This 13-track album has the upbeat, hair down, riding in your convertible sound, and as for you fella’s, your mustaches are free to fly in the wind too.” With tunes like “Cherry Bomb”, “Girls I know”, and the track featured in the above video, this unsigned tandem could see themselves with a deal. That is, if record labels have the guts to go against the grain and buck current trends. Good music is hard to find sometimes and with a talented threesome like these guys, they are on the verge of something huge with the right resources available to them.

France is known for acts like The Rasmus, M83, Phoenix, and Daft Punk. It is safe to say The Shapers sound nothing like those acts. Standing out is in the spirit of punk rock and this group is doing its part by zagging when others are zigging. They are the #1 band in their genre in their native France, per ReverbNation. Catch up with the group online at Spotify, iTunes, and the like to find out this artist on the rise is all about.

Texas Trio’s Unique Spin On An Xmas Classic

Houston’s My Only Escape (@MyOnlyEscape1) has a good look and great sounding original tunes. Keep an ear out for the Simple Plan-esque “Falling For You”, which has hit all over it. With that said, however, in the spirit of the holiday season the video for the popular “Jingle Bells” is worth a look and listen as we are are a week away from Christmas. It’s a clever spin on the track with a nice little storyline involved.

My Only Escape consists of Branden Mendoza on vocals, drummer Vaughan Heppe, and Conor Kearns on guitar bringing powerful punk pop to the masses. Being in a major market definitely helps garner attention and Houston’s been a hotbed for popular acts such as Blue October, Fenix TX, ZZ Top, and even Beyonce. May this group of talented and handsome gentlemen make the most of the opportunity afforded them. Mendoza is the mastermind of the band, as he has penned over 100 songs and was part of a tour sponsored by Disney. This is the machine responsible for launching successful musicians such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Bridgit Mendler, among others. If it is not with Hollywood Records, bet on My Only Escape having a record deal in the future. If their Christmas cover and “Falling For You” go viral, it may happen sooner than later.

“Falling For You” is available at online outlets like iTunes, ReverbNation and the band’s website and is already making a splash on Australian radio. Aussies know their music, given their exports AC/DC, DiVinyls, Powderfinger, Boom Crash Opera, and the like. Music lovers in the Texas area have one last chance to check them out this year at Six Flags in Arlington this Friday 12/20. The group prides itself on its live shows, so it seems like it is well worth it to see what they bring to the stage.

Veruca Salt Is Not Dead; The Outlook Is Mostly Sunny

The San Diego-based act Mostly Sunny (@mostlysunny) has garnered some attention for the tune “More Than Anyone Else” since its airing in a Red Vines licorice commercial. This commercial primarily airs during Pac-12 Network telecasts, so most East Coasters may be unfamiliar with the tune.

The song is a throwback to the female-led groups of the 1990s Veruca Salt and Luscious Jackson. The lyrics combined with singer Jenni McElrath’s poppy voice are an excellent reminder of emo grrl music that charted nearly 20 years ago. Will this tune become a viral hit in 2013? Who knows and who cares? There is a place for classic alternative music and “More Than Anyone Else” fits like a glove.

The band seems to be doing well for themselves out west thus far. In their genre, they are the #9 ranked artist in San Diego on ReverbNation. Music veteran McElrath recorded this particular song without mates Danny Wallis and Mike Fish and their latest recordings such as “Maybe Someday” are a departure from the 90s alt-rock sound, but equally lovely and worth hearing.

A Band Destined for Greatness

This Ohio-based trio is on the verge of great things and have earned an opportunity to be heard by the masses. Despite lineup changes that might have killed most musical acts, musically these lads get better and better with each video and live performance. Take a look at “Headstart” from their latest EP release.