Band of Heathens & Drew Gibson @ Jammin Java, Washington DC - 12 April 2013.
Long a favorite of mine, this local singer songwriter delivers high quality sets whether it is solo with acoustic guitar or like tonight with a full band of sharp musicians he frequently works with. And it is a good thing to have the full band tonight, as this is a late show with a sold out crowd, many of whom are already lubed up and quite noisy.
But there were plenty of people locked and focused to these delicate yet hearty folk rock tunes. Gibson sings and plays guitar with drums, bass, and steel guitarist providing a soft touch with just enough mystery in the air to highlight the songs. I still find his song "I Know I Miss You More" to be quite amazing and it hit me how much it fit in with the songs of Alan Tunbridge as interpreted by Wizz Jones.
And although Drew Gibson is back home after a brief tour of the midwest, this half hour set affirmed Drew Gibson's position in the local scene as on the short list of high quality singer songwriters. Add the full band and they can hold there own on any stage around town.
Band of Heathens
This Austin based collective certainly has the chops and the songs to draw in the crowds. They harmonize exceedingly well and all the instruments blend together with a deft handling of the Americana style.
Yet, I find this all incredibly predictable tonight. I do not want to be too hard on this band, as they do everything right. They remind me a lot of the Band--and like that band, have earned plenty of respect from music lovers everywhere. But I was never a big fan of the Band, and although I find few flaws here, I am not fully into this set.
But (also like the Band) when they have a really great song and lock into a groove, they are absolutely brilliant. The guitars and organ are really capable of weaving some great patterns.
More importantly, the crowd that came to see them got everything they wanted as these guys have the skills to deliver some powerful music. It may take me a little more time to get the full effect, but they don't need to wait around for that to happen.
First published @ dcrocklive.blogspot.com.
Photo Credits: (1) Drew Gibson, (2) Band of Heathens (unknown).