The Undiscovered Country: Baton Rouge Band The Gillis Silo on the Rise

7df71c6e36b943228e54c6b3023c0950Baton Rouge country music group The Gillis Silo hasn’t put on a performance yet, but one is coming soon.

“We’ve technically only been a band for about 21 days,” said singer/songwriter Caleb Paul. Our first show is January 17 at Huey’s downtown.”

Continue reading “The Undiscovered Country: Baton Rouge Band The Gillis Silo on the Rise”

Power Equals Power: Talking Influences and Stewardship with The Soul Rebels’ Lumar LeBlanc

For over twenty years, New Orleans-based band The Soul Rebels has been a favorite, not just at the local or regional level, but worldwide. Although they are billed as a brass band, the eight-piece ensemble is also influenced by jazz, soul music, funk, hip-hop, and various other traditions and genres.

Continue reading “Power Equals Power: Talking Influences and Stewardship with The Soul Rebels’ Lumar LeBlanc”

School of Music Hosts Washington Garcia: Texas State Professor’s Program Boasts Bach, Beethoven, Gerardo Guevara

Washington Garcia. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Washington Garcia. Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Friday, the LSU School of Music will host a Manship Guest Recital for Ecuadorian-born pianist Washington Garcia, who also teaches at Texas State’s School of Music and works to improve the talents of children from all over the world at Texas State’s International Piano Festival, an event he has been organizing since its inception in 2010.

“This is my second year as assistant director of the School of Music,” Garcia said Wednesday, “and I have been the head of the keyboard area for 6 years now.”

The performance later this week will be the performer’s first appearance in Baton Rouge, and his first time playing music publicly in Louisiana since he last appeared on stage in Alexandria seven years ago, and Garcia was excited to talk about the pieces that he is slated to play. Continue reading “School of Music Hosts Washington Garcia: Texas State Professor’s Program Boasts Bach, Beethoven, Gerardo Guevara”

Inclement Conditions: Mud & Water to host Saint Rich and Brass Bed

saint_rich_kyledeanreinford_grass_hiAppropriately enough, my interview with vocalist and musician Christian Peslak of musical duo Saint Rich, occurred on 2013’s rainy Halloween afternoon, a day not unlike the day the band was formed.

“We had a practice scheduled at Steve’s house,” Peslak recalls, referring to Steve Marion, the other half of Saint Rich’s core. “[We] played in another band and we had just got home from a tour; I got upstairs, set up my gear [and] we were just waiting for some other people to come.”

Continue reading “Inclement Conditions: Mud & Water to host Saint Rich and Brass Bed”

Meet The Millburns: Fresh Baton Rouge Quintet Talks About Its Face

Matt Vondenstein (mascot), John Mark Lowry (bass, keys and backup vocals), Michael Lane (drums), Jason Bossier (lead guitar), Ashley Cowart (lead and backup vocals), and Ben Nelson (lead singer and rhythm guitar). Photo courtesy of John Mark Lowry.
Matt Vondenstein (mascot), John Mark Lowry (bass, keys and backup vocals), Michael Lane (drums), Jason Bossier (lead guitar), Ashley Cowart (lead and backup vocals), and Ben Nelson (lead singer and rhythm guitar). Photo courtesy of John Mark Lowry.

For all intents and purposes, Baton Rouge band The Millburns emerged, like Athena from Zeus’s forehead, fully formed at the moment of its creation.

“The first time all five of us were all together was on stage,” said The Millburns’ Ben Nelson.

Nelson, who repatriated to Baton Rouge from New Orleans in 2012, returned to his hometown eager to expand the song list he was building in his mind. “I had a batch of songs,” he said. “And I called our guitar player, Jason Bossier, and we got together and just started playing on them; [we] got in a drummer, Michael Lane, and the three of us were playing them for a while, not knowing what was going to happen.”

Continue reading “Meet The Millburns: Fresh Baton Rouge Quintet Talks About Its Face”

Ghost Folk: Sanders Bohlke and Erin Miley to Play Haven Gallery

Sanders Bohlke. Courtesy of Sanders Bohlke.
Sanders Bohlke. Courtesy of Sanders Bohlke.

“I’ve never played Baton Rouge before,” Sanders Bohlke admitted Saturday. “I don’t know why.”

The musician, who hails from Sardis, a small north Mississippi town, has previously performed in New Orleans and, oddly enough, Ruston (in a small show Bohlke described as “awesome”), but will make his capital city debut tonight at the Haven Gallery with Baton Rouge native Erin Miley.

Continue reading “Ghost Folk: Sanders Bohlke and Erin Miley to Play Haven Gallery”

New Orleans Metal Band Goatwhore Comes to Baton Rouge: Blackened Death Metal Band Boasts Acid Bath and Soilent Green Pedigree

Goatwhore’s Blood for the Master cover. Poster coming soon to a light pole near you!
Goatwhore’s Blood for the Master cover. Poster coming soon to a light pole near you!

Upcoming Shows:

  • Rustic Cowboy
    • Thursday, August 30
    • 12780 Mansfield Road, Keithville
    • 318.775.5327
  • Twiggy’s
    • Friday, August 31
    • 2609 Ryan Street,  Lake Charles
    • 337.421.0045
  • Spanish Moon
    • Saturday, September 1
    • 1109 Highland Road
    • 225.383.6666

At my core, I’m a music guy. But sometimes the things that I enjoy paint me into an artistic corner. I was raised by Puritans, which meant that nothing assailed my ears except the empty crooning of Steven Curtis Chapman and the admittedly brilliant lyricism of Rich Mullins. Music from, say, Wilson-Phillips, never wafted up from the radio on a Saturday afternoon; we had quartet Point of Grace and their poppy contemporary Christian fluff. And, like all good Christian boys, I loved the Newsboys and dcTalk. Then, that thing that I had been taught to fear came into my life: secular music.

Continue reading “New Orleans Metal Band Goatwhore Comes to Baton Rouge: Blackened Death Metal Band Boasts Acid Bath and Soilent Green Pedigree”

Crazy Like a Vox: New Orleans Favorites Vox and the Hound to Play Spanish Moon

Leo DeJesus - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion D Ray - Keys, Trombone, Melodica, Percussion, Vocals Rory Callais - Guitar, Vocals Andrew Jarman - Bass, Percussion, Vocals Eric Rogers - Drums, Percussion
Leo DeJesus – Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
D Ray – Keys, Trombone, Melodica, Percussion, Vocals
Rory Callais – Guitar, Vocals
Andrew Jarman – Bass, Percussion, Vocals
Eric Rogers – Drums, Percussion

When I briefly lived in uptown New Orleans, the first band poster I saw (everywhere) was for something called “Vox and the Hound.” Due to a fondness for defunct Austin indie poppers Voxtrot, the coincidence of two Southern bands using the fox/vox pun, and my own confusion, I was immediately won over.

I first saw Vox and the Hound perform with Modern Skirts at the Hi-Ho Lounge, accompanied by another KLSU expatriate who was so enamored with the arena gritfolk sound that she bought two of the band’s Hermosa EPs, encased in an apropos flannel pocket.

Since then, the band’s been hard at work, getting ready for the next stage in their growth. This past June, the band released a track they recorded at Algiers’ respected The Living Room Studio, entitled “The Man You Thought Was King.”

Continue reading “Crazy Like a Vox: New Orleans Favorites Vox and the Hound to Play Spanish Moon”

Big History at The Republic, New Orleans, April 15, 2011

Big History. Photo Courtesy of GoNOLA.com.
Big History. Photo Courtesy of GoNOLA.com.

Throwback Night at the Republic, like the Eighties Dance Party at One-Eyed Jacks, is a local favorite, and the people of New Orleans are more than happy to turn out to see which up and comers they need to pay attention to in the coming weeks and months. When I first moved to NOLA from Baton Rouge, I knew that the Republic would be the place I’d find myself frequently; New Orleans is renowned for its rhythm history, and is, of course, widely known for being the birthplace of jazz. Unfortunately, this has meant other genres, including local bands that fall on the more independent side of the spectrum, get pushed into a corner. Not so at the Republic, which has hosted such beloved fixtures of the genre as Rilo Kiley, and the first show I saw in my new town was local legends Glasgow, playing for Throwback Night, with The Little Mermaid as the theme.

Continue reading “Big History at The Republic, New Orleans, April 15, 2011”

Show Review: Prom Date with Big Rock Candy Mountain at the Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge, April 8, 2011

Photo Courtesy of Big Rock Candy Mountain
Photo Courtesy of Big Rock Candy Mountain

Big Rock Candy Mountain is a band based out of New Orleans, with a heavy influence from the louder side of indie rock. Theirs is the kind of unity that you love to see in a band, operating in perfect harmony, with crashing drums and cymbals intermingling with cluster bells and epic bass lines, all over incomprehensible lyrics that prove that the voice is an instrument, and you don’t have to hear the words to feel the power of them. They are well beloved in New Orleans, as is obvious from the musical royalty that makes a presence at the show: Sam Craft of New Orleans’ premiere indie dance band, Glasgow, is front and center at the base of the stage, dancing like there’s no tomorrow and playing air violin when the music moves him to do so. Their set is comprised of just a few songs, but the performance is memorable; the lead singer and keyboard player, who looks like Sean Lennon if his mother was Susan Sarandon instead of Yoko Ono, performs with the kind of energy that some bands only wish they had, clambering up onto his bench to jump down and slam the keys of his Casio with all his weight, while the guitarist slings his axe back and beats a cluster of bells, arranged on a handle like flowers on a foxglove plant. And through it all the drummer works himself into a frenzy that Animal from the Muppets would watch with jealousy. After the show, I ask Mr. Not-Lennon when the band will play next in their hometown, and he tells me that they are working on laying down a new album that they hope to have ready for this summer, and don’t have any more live shows planned for the next few months, but that they never know when they’ll be called upon to play again, so I should keep my eyes open. I’m passing along this information to you, because I whole-heartedly concur: if you get the chance, Big Rock Candy Mountain is a band that you want to see.

Continue reading “Show Review: Prom Date with Big Rock Candy Mountain at the Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge, April 8, 2011”