Written by Jessica Klausing
Day 2: More Surprises
Outlaw Roadshow continued with another night of stellar music in Manhattan. On Friday Outlaw fans were teased with the promise of a “secret set.” It is quite obvious by now that the secret set is always Counting Crows. However, this year, rumors leaked of Rob Thomas joining the band onstage as a special guest. Festival attendees were highly encouraged to “RSVP” early on the website to ensure priority access into the venue. About an hour before the show started, a huge line had already formed inside the bar.
Usually most people only show up for the “secret set,” and as great as those main acts were, I want to take a moment to encourage everyone to give the other Outlaw bands a listen. After all, Outlaw Roadshow is about supporting new music. You will be pleasantly surprised and may discover some new favorites. I know I did. Day two had an impressive lineup of eight talented bands worth checking out.
The Harmaleighs’ folk music paints a watercolored portrait of a journey through difficult times. Each simple, rhythmic strum is a delicate brush stroke that slowly builds the melodies up into a faster, livelier pace. Their poetic lyrics dare to show vulnerability that adds to the depth of their bittersweet sound.
Haley Grant and Kalee Jasperson are the mistresses of timing and pace. The opening song, “Hesitate,” begins with a gorgeous a cappella part that launches right into an instrumental jamboree without rushing the song.
Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush: “Pretty Livin,” “Hesitate,” “Doll Made of Glass,” “Last One Standing,” “Sticks and Stones,” and “I Keep Ticking On.”
Don DiLego plays a mix of country rock and jangly pop. His newest album, Magnificent Ram A uses vivid storytelling lyrics with a bluegrass influence. “Up in Smoke” was my favorite and perhaps the most whimsical track on the album.
The analog synths and sonic effects champion him as a country rocker among the best of his kind, but it is DiLego’s compelling voice that keeps me coming back.
Drive Like Pirates EP: “Drive Like Pirates” and “Different Man.”
Magnificent Ram A: “Idiot Heart,” “Don’t Bury Me Alive,” “Up in Smoke,” “I’m On Fire,” “Drive Like Pirates,” and “A Wishful Poem.”
Just imagine: It’s an Autumn evening in the countryside. You sit back and relax on the porch with a glass of wine as you watch the sun set on a golden pasture, reminiscing over that long, lost love. As tears stream down your cheeks, that warm, tingling feeling of your old lover still lingers on your lips.
This is what I envision when I hear Kathleen Sieck’s haunting reflections. With a gorgeous voice, old country melodies and emotive lyrics, her Americana music is bound to strike a chord in the coldest of hearts.
Where the Sleepers Lie: “Sea Shanty,” “Good Day,” “Stay Beside Me,” “Bury Me High,” “Where the Sleepers Lie,” and “Sad Song.”
Corey James Bost
Corey James Bost has a unique and evocative indie rock sound. He doesn’t write traditional guitar ballads filled with morose lyrics, folks. Instead, his music pulls you down a dark route of psychedelic melodies and imagery. You get the sense he’s battling some inner demons.
My favorite song is “Kingdom Come.” The lyric, “This is earth, this isn’t heaven,” pulls us back to the harsh realities of romantic disappointments while the drumming builds on the emotional intensity. His music is a beautiful reflection of sorrow without being overly EMO or too pretentious.
Herritage: “Heritage,” “Hide in the Shade,” “Features,” “I’ll Let You Down,” “Nothing You Can Do,” “I’ll Let You Down,” and “Kingdom Come.”
Love & The Zealous
Love & The Zealous serve up a hearty, soulful helping of the gospel blues with a generous side of Southern Rock.
“Devil is a Woman,” delivers playful keys alongside a ripping guitar, with Richard Love ferociously chanting the infectious hook, “I am the devil, you better run, Run/ Whisper in your ear and you do just what I want/I can breathe fire, baby, fire/ Come around my way and I’ll bite you, baby, I’ll bite you, baby.”
Love belts out the woes and hardships with a passionate intensity that could bring a proud man to his knees begging for spiritual forgiveness.
Expand Your Mind: “Devil is a Woman,” “Horses,” and “Wild Child.”
Love & The Zealous Live EP: “Dock of the Bay” and “All in All.”
Nate Leavitt’s sound is modest and stays within the quieter realm of folk. His songs are musical therapy for anyone on a rebound from heartbreak.
Leavitt’s delicate guitar compliments his soul-baring, tender vocals. The soft harmonies and graceful piano make heartbreak quite a beautiful place to be after all.
Someone Send a Signal: “Someone Send a Signal,” “Take Me Back,” and “When I Was With You.”
You, Me and the Silence: “You, Me and the Silence,” “Where Did Your Love Go,” and “Taking the Long Way Home.”
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead can crank out electric rock n’ roll anthems without having to sugarcoat any feel-good content. The album Skyline in Central Time was written after Leahey had a brain operation. His songs offer a raw look into how it felt to be alive during his long recovery.
The band showcases the Hammond organ, bluesy rooted harmonies, and solid country melodies that proudly pay tribute to the American heartland. If you like Gram Parsons, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, then you’re bound to like these guys.
Skyline in Central Time: “Little in Love,” “Better Medicine,” “The Good Life,” “When the Hinges Give,” “Penitentiary Guys,” “10 Years Ago,” “Shot,” and “Who Wants an Easy Love.”
I first saw K Phillips & The Concho Pearls play a gig a month ago in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the band’s set had to be cut short, but when I heard “Kat’s Song,” I knew I had to hear more!
K Phillips is simply a Motown dream: gritty lyrics laced with sarcastic wit, a smooth, soulful vocal delivery backed by country rock guitars, bluesy percussion, and keys. “Get It” is my absolute favorite song. The infectious hooks paired with jazzy saxophone with the risqué “this is the sound of sin on sin, this is sound of skin on skin,” will have you swaying to this sultry delight.
American Girls: “Sherriff’s Wife,” “Get it,” “Kat’s Song,” “Not My Baby Anymore,” “You Don’t Hafta,” and “To Dance With You.”
To be continued for part three...