Thursday night was a great night to be at the EARL. The intimate crowd rolled into the back room to fill their bellies with $2 ice cold beers and stuff their ears with some sweet southern music. A trio of musical acts from Georgia & Tennessee hit the stage and bombarded the folks in attendance with a bad ass mix of rock, country & blues.
Opening and closing the night was a couple of Georgia bands, Chase 56 and Walk From The Gallows.
Chase 56 kicked the evening off with their brand of country infused southern rock. The 5 piece band offered up tunes from their album Altoona Rising plus a few other gems. Full of jangly guitars and smooth pedal steel their songs are full of lyrics about family, good times and heartbreak. A highlight of last night’s set was when Matt Woods joined them on stage for a blistering rendition of “Whiskey, Wine and Pills” (Devon Stuart). Chase 56 delivered on their opening set successfully getting the crowd jacked up for the night of tunes to come.
Closing the night out was fellow Georgia band Walk From The Gallows. They took the stage and wasted no time cranking up the tunes. There was no introduction there was no hello they just slammed full speed into the music, catching the crowd by surprise. Blistering guitars and thunderous drums filled the room as they rolled through their set list as if they were being chased and needed to get out of town fast. They reminded me a bit of Social Distortion with a bit of Southern flavor mixed in. Loud, fast and furious is how they play which made ear plugs a necessary accessory.
Sandwiched in-between the Georgians was Tennessee singer/songwriter Matt Woods. Stepping on stage armed with an acoustic guitar and his voice he delivered the strongest performance of the night. He writes songs about small town life, bad decisions and death that are personal and full of emotion. This all bleed through into his performance which was raw and powerful. He jammed tunes from his album The Matt Woods Manifesto such as “Johnny Ray Dupree” and “A Broken Heart” along with a few newer tunes. As he moved through his set Woods showed off his guitar prowess, his boisterous voice and his ability to write good songs. As impressive as his set was no one there was ready for his final tune, “Dead Man Blues”. Woods reached deep down inside himself and delivered an emotional performance that had the crowd mesmerized by what they were witnessing. When the last note of his guitar died, Woods, dripping in sweat had given the folks at the EARL his all.
Each of these performers brought something different to the night of music. Their styles, while different, complemented each other nicely and kept the night from getting stale. Whether it was the twang of Chase 56, the emotion of Matt Woods or the power of Walk From The Gallows all of their tunes were driven by well written lyrics, something that is not too common in a lot of music these days. If you ever get the chance to catch any of these bands live I suggest you jump on it and treat your ears to some good music.