July 8, 2010
Photographed by Amy Davidson
Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent
After a particularly
brutal heat wave, favor turned our way. The heat
broke, and the breeze coming off the Hudson made
for the perfect summer evening. On the bill--Dawes
and Phosphorescent. The alt country folk stylings
of each paired nicely with the beneficial change
Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes
First up was Dawes. Out of LA, and the sound shows
they are well versed in California’s rock,
folk and country history. You can hear bits of Neil
Young in the guitar riff of “If I wanted someone”.
They were also quite adept harmonizers, evoking
CSNY, Mamas and the Papas and the like. Joe Walsh
comes to mind as well. The lyrics were of the narrative
type, the singer had some nice lead guitar moments
(and quite the guitar face). It was a good job of
transporting the listener to another place, cruising
down a Cali Highway, mid seventies, turning the
AM dial. The closer “Peace in the Valley”
shows they can hold a stage anywhere. My only complaint,
if there is one, is I would have liked to see a
four on the floor rocker. But even without it, these
guys carry the sound of their predecessors nicely.
Scott Stapleton of Phosphorescent
The headliner of the night was Phosphorescent.
They too channel a lot of Neil Young, but they got
a heaping helpful of Willie in there as well. Plus
they had a pedal steel player. I was pleasantly
surprised when what I thought would be a straight
up country show started showing flashes of fuzz
effects and experimentation. Songs would start somewhat
traditional and build up into a great wall of experimental
noise. The keys player banged his head like a metal
maniac, and the guitar work of Matthew Houck and
his lead guitarist Jesse Anderson Ainslie was commendable.
It didn’t delve into jam band territory thank
All in all, it was a good night, the type that
makes you yearn for a cheap can of beer in a koozie,
fire up the grill, and burn a little what what.
River to River seems to be doing a great job with
the bookings once again. See you next time.