This Little Underground
Bao Le-Huu columnist takes on Lil Daggers, the Band in Heaven, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside and more
Published: August 4, 2011
We all have good and bad in us, but putting your best self out there is a matter of editing out your lesser indulgences. That free little nugget there is for Tampa’s the Groves (July 27, Will’s Pub), whose strength – bluesy Southern rock – is currently under siege by some tendencies that could betray their intentions. Between the soft-core, commercial-rock emoting and the limp white-bread jam vibes creeping in, their credibility is the casualty. It’s not an issue of chops – those they have. It’s an issue of debatable taste.
But saving the night, in their first Orlando appearance, was Port St. Lucie killers Sweet Chariots. Rockabilly revivalists have, for too long, rested on their visual style to carry the day instead of bringing the motherfucking heat onstage. But not these cats. The sheer rock ass-kickery of their frenzied, hard-hitting punkabilly stands way taller than their pompadours.
And besides being the best, purest rockabilly singer in these parts since Michael Bales (Rocket 88, Knock Down Drag Out), frontman Thomas Warren is an in-the-moment live wire of a performer. These guys don’t just wear the clothes and pose, they live the spirit. Most importantly, they earn it the hard, physical way onstage.
Put these guys on the bill the next time the Legendary Shack Shakers roll through and that party will swing off the hinges.
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