Posted by: Dan – Apr 18, 2012
Last Wednesday at The Republic, it was Ghost Owls and The Dream Machine: a peculiar pairing of harmonious grassy folk rock and bold-faced rock n' reggae, respectively. Nonetheless, we saw noteworthy performances from both bands.
Before this show, I had seen Ghost Owls perform once, over a year and a half ago. I remember thinking to myself that they were attempting some intricate harmonies that might be better reserved for the studio. This past week I ate my words, and was thoroughly impressed by Ghost Owls, who have clearly honed their vocal chops - but this isn't the only reason I was impressed. The wall of sound is something that is perpetually sought after in all music, especially in bluegrass. It is a unifying moment where all musical particles act as one, and there were several of these moments in Ghost Owls' set. I was looking around the bar, and while the crowd was a bit more timid than usual, I saw a great many interested faces. Particularly stirring was their rendition of "Happiness is a Warm Gun," which is not an easy lick. Very much looking forward to seeing Ghost Owls perform again.
The Dream Machine has not only been showcasing their new drummer, but has recently livened up the set with a bluesy harmonica, courtesy of Yerb spearheader Luke Wilson. The harmonica finds a surprising niche amidst The Dream Machine's weighty downbeats and Justin Shear's flashy gutar solos, which were indubitably face-melting last Wednesday.
Coming up this Wednesday, April 18 at The Republic, The Dream Machine will welcome Big Enough (formerly No Dice). This three-piece has an unmistakable feel-good 90s vibe to it. From the content, I get a hint of Social Distortion; from the guitars I get the honest rock straightforwardness of AC/DC; the organ is essentially what provides the feel-good 90s vibe. I don't often see bands like Big Enough, which may warrant them a fine chance of standing out among other Richmond bands. This Wednesday could get loud. Hells yes.
Words By Dan Mulrooney, Photos By Tyler M. Conta