Come out to the Bluebird this Thursday, February 19th and get discoed away with the funkiest fun loving band around. Cherub is best known for their hit single “Doses and Mimosas” which has been re-released with their new album Year of the Caprese. Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley have figured out a way to bring the party to you with their spunky lyrics and charismatic charm. While the song “Doses and Mimosas” has been out for two years I never pass up an opportunity to listen just one more time.
The dynamic duo is from Nashville, Tennessee but there is nothing country about them, as their music is inspired by ‘80’s post disco, synth pop, and da funk. This summer they’re opening for Gramatik at Red Rocks along with performances at Forecastle, Summercamp, and Counterpoint.
Don’t miss an opportunity to catch their Strip To This Tour because, like any band that loves to party, there will be plenty of talk about love, sex, and drugs as they take the stage. Last time they played at the Bluebird it was nothing short of a good time. So join party, doors are at 9pm.
Buy tickets here.
Want more this Thursday check out Datsik.
This New Year’s Eve I happily chose to stay close to home and attend a well-rounded lineup of Central Indiana musicians. The night featured an eclectic mixture of Traditional Bluegrass, Newgrass(Progressive Bluegrass), Outlaw Country, American Psychedelia, Blues, and Southern Jam Rock. Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band headlined the holiday event, with The Indiana Boys and The New Old Calvary as supporting acts. Initially, seeing The New Old Cavalry was my sole reason for attending, but proved to be very myopic given the caliber of music on display. The Indiana Boys were the first to take the stage, starting the night with an excellent set. Their set was fun, energetic, and featured a very talented presentation of music. Also, the veteran musicians’ stage presence undeniably displayed a certain sense of swagger. The first half of the set featured two mandolins feverishly plucking away, while Kenan Rainwater(lead vocals, harmonica, and rhythm guitar) added a rich and wholesome element in contrast to the energetic sounds coming from the other members. Barry Todd, mandolin, lived up to the label of a virtuoso on the instrument, owning the stage for most of the set. The second half of the set featured the band inviting other musicians from Dan Bigler’s other group, White Lighting Boys, to join them on stage. This proved to be beneficial and added even more musical depth to their already impressive set.The apex of the set, and easily the crowd favorite, was when The Indiana Boys played their rendition of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s classic gangster rap hit, “Gin & Juice”. It was honestly a well-executed cover, not letting the silliness of the lyrics detract from the quality musical composition. The Boys fed off of the energy of the crowd, taking it up a notch with huge smiles adorned across their faces as they closed their set on a very high note. I was very impressed with the entire set, and those gentlemen are obviously professionals.
My excitement began to rise in anticipation of The New Old Cavalry’s set to begin. After the briefly playful stint of sound adjustments, their set quickly began in a fury. Chris Doller, guitar and vocals, and Alex Wukmer, Dobro and vocals, began the set by energizing the tempo and the amassing crowd with heavy hitting play on their respected instruments. The first portion of the set featured the two trading back and forth between who led the charge. They traded off in perfect sync, forging ahead into seemingly improvised bluegrass-psychedelia jams. Justin Hughey, electric banjo, plucked along in lockstep, providing the hard-hitting music with crisp melodies and the signature bluegrass twang. It didn’t take too long for Hughey cut loose and took control of the music, taking the Psychedelia jam into a Newgrass jam. I absolutely love the hearing a banjo(electric or not) relentlessly push the tempo faster and faster, especially when properly executed, which he did so with ease. Brandon Lee, mandolin, also came to the forefront of the jam, furthering the sound of the Progressive Bluegrass gets down. Chills crept down my spine as the rest of the stage-front attendees and I began to boogie, revival style. I must also point out, Brian Chomka, Upright Bass, was essential in holding the sound together with booming bass lines, well-timed changes with the beats, and tightly held the music together. He was the glue holding the rhythms of the far out jams in tact. I was impressed when the guys took the music down several notches, adding a nice flow to their set with the beautiful track. The abrupt tempo change was all they could do to add some sort of flow to their short forty-five minute set. They finished the set just as they had begun, in a fireball fury. A band like The New Old Cavalry deserves at least an hour and a half to properly deliver their seemingly improvisational Newgrass psychedelic jams. Honestly, I was a little disappointed they weren’t allowed to play much longer, but they most certainly made the best of their allotted time. It’s always a treat to hear their fusion of several genres of music. Every time I see them their music continues to evolve.
After a brief intermission spent with whiskey consumption providing necessary warmth and perfect numbness outside in the freezing cold while chain-smoking, I finally reentered The Bluebird a few moments before Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band took the stage. I stood, uncertain of what was about to transpire, with this being my first Reverend Peyton show(that I can remember). The uncertainty quickly subsided as Washboard Breezy Peyton came out playing a washboard and harmonica with Reverend wailing on the guitar. It was truly a gnarly concoction of sound, in a very good way. His unique voice and edgy guitar play boisterously roared through the venue. I totally get the irony of the band’s name, with Aaron “Cuz” Persinger(drums, vocals) rounding out the trio, but their music does provide an illusion of a big damn band actually playing. Reverend Peyton provides an illusion of another musician by utilizing a Fingerstyle guitar, relying on his thumb to provide the bass lines for their music. Equally remarkable was his commanding stage presence. The undeniably overpowering frontman didn’t deter Washboard Breezy from showing her own skillful stage presence. Their energetic movements on stage and raunchy Country Blues music infectiously spread throughout, causing a rowdy dance latent crowd.
Even after releasing their latest album “Between the Ditches” this past August, they still played a nice mixture of old and new material. “Mud” and “Something for Nothing” were two classics played and both were delivered magnificently. Their new material easily eclipsed both of those tracks, which was no small feat. “Devils Look Like Angels” was a phenomenal track musically as well as lyrically. The Blues element of their music definitely shone through for “Devils”. Another impressive presentation of new material, “Broke Down Everywhere”, showed energetic play by Breezy and Cuz and playfully intoxicating singing by Reverend, delivering a truly fun song. It was possibly my favorite song of the evening, but hard to decide with the entire set being absolutely impressive. Another track off of their latest album, “Big Blue Chevy ‘72″, was another fan favorite worth mentioning. “Big Blue” highlighted the eclectic fusion of their music, this time presenting the crowd with more Country and Southern Rock influence in the music. The set was excellent, ringing in the new year wonderfully and capping off an excellent night of music by talented local musicians. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is musically in their own class of music, impressively producing fun and fresh music and live shows.
Words by: Alex Toy
Review: Matisyahu @ The Bluebird—Bloomington, IN–11/11/2012
It was an easy decision to see a post-Hasidic Matisyahu perform at The Bluebird. I waited before the show started, interest piqued to see the reincarnated artist. I watched the crowd quickly amass as I stood waiting for him and his band to take the stage. Bass rumbled the ground and a man’s voice began to sing out in Jewish prayer, indicating the beginning of “Crossroads.” I gasped when Matisyahu entered the stage. It was odd to see him have short slicked-back hair, dark sunglasses, and a black full-length coat. The man of light and spirituality appeared to be much darker and iconoclastic. In the past, he praised his fans, understanding they’re the reason for his fame, but this night he appeared to lack any connectivity with the crowd. His voice was sounding amazing, sharply improving over the years. I kept waiting for him to engage the crowd, or even some bouncing around the stage, but he stood idle with his eyes hiding behind the shades. “Searching For You” was the next song he played. He did beatbox during this song and overall the song was very well crafted. It was very good electronic music. However, it sounded way too dark for Matisyahu. His lack of emotion toward the crowd made him appear disconnected. The first two songs were very disappointing; he lacked substance and depth.
The perplexing nature of his musical transformation was quickly forgotten when “Sunshine” began. This is another track off of his most recent album, Spark Seeker, but definitely more like his past material. “Sunshine” featured a groove invoking bass line and Matisyahu’s perfect voice delivering positive lyrics. This charged the crowd up, but I couldn’t help but notice Matisyahu continuing to appear disconnected from the crowd.”Bal Shem Tov” was the next song. “Bal” was definitely the low point for the set, failing to capitalize on the previous song’s energy. Musically the first half of the show didn’t sound too bad, but his lack of confidence and connectivity with the crowd were quite unexpected. I was deflated and yearning for him to take me to great heights. My wishes were granted as the song “Thunder (From Light)” began to play and Matisyahu finally connected with the crowd, bouncing around the stage and smiling like he did in the past. He segued perfectly into “Exaltation”, a Matisyahu classic and one of my favorites. In this song, he continued to win me and others over, becoming increasingly animated on stage. His animation coupled with his beautifully crisp vocals finally elevated me to great heights. The set was finally coming together. The next song, “Live Like a Warrior”, perfectly highlighted Matisyahu’s strengths as a musician; a perfect display of inspirational vocals, melodic and mellow music, and great stage presence. I was thrown off guard as he took his connectivity and stage presence to the next level, stage diving into the sea of fans. The set ended with “Sea to Sea”, featuring a more electronic version of the original. It sounded nice, perfectly preparing the crowd for the imminent encore. With a strong finish to his set, I was riding very high and unsure how the encore would transpire. The uncertainty and any scrutiny were whisked away by him playing “King Without a Crown”, Matisyahu’s biggest hit and arguably his best song. During “King”, his musical mastery was on full display for the exuberant crowd. We were his puppets as he appeared to control the crowd with great ease. The ease wasn’t due to lack of emotion. It was quite the opposite; you could feel the raw emotion in his voice as his true stage presence shone through. It gave me goose bumps. I saw tears shed and others were awestruck by the undeniably beautiful music being displayed. The show ended with another fan favorite, “One Day”, a positively powerful song about hope. You could see the joy smeared across many faces. Toward the end of the song, Matisyahu and his band members invited the crowd on stage. Chaos eliminated any easy wind down to the show. Fans flooded the stage, dancing and cheering as the song continued. It was pure chaos as Matisyahu disappeared amid a sea of fans, still managing to finish the song, ending the show with an awe-inspiring moment between an artist and fans. In retrospect, the set started out weird with his new off-putting persona and darker electronically influenced songs. He finally connected with the crowd and emerged as the artist so many fans have grown to love. The best part of the show was the encore, displaying positively the best mix of showmanship and musical talent.
Words by: Alex Toy
Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter, Wide Aperture Images