November 7, 2013

Do you like this?

Power trio has evolved into solid R&R good time

I HAD GOTTEN A TIP ABOUT A BAND THAT WOULD be worth reviewing, so I went to Soundman Jack at the Honest Pint (who has worked with the band a few times) and asked him, “What do you know about these cats?”

“Well,” he said,  “they are as unpretentious and down-to-earth as they come. They just play good, honest, straightforward rock and roll. They’re easily one of the best around.”

Every week I sit down and explore some local artist or group and in seven hundred and fifty words try to tell you what they do, why you should care and where to go see them—but in three short short sentences Jack gave as ringing an endorsement as I ever could. 

The band is called Gold Plated Gold and here is what you need to know:

Gold Plated Gold is a power trio consisting of Adam Ayers, Blake Callihan and Casey Lovain on drums, guitar and bass respectively, with Callihan and Lovain sharing vocal duties. 

In its earliest incarnation back in 2010, the band was merely a two-piece (Ayers and Callihan) experimenting with a minimalist but progressive approach to drums and guitar. They were also playing the occasional acoustic gig at such lofty establishments as Bubba’s Pool Hall in Chatsworth, GA.    

Colorful colloquialisms aside, Bubba’s Pool Hall gave them the chance to play with one of their favorite local bands, The Gullibles, which led to some deep conversations with Gullibles bassist Casey Lovain. Mutual interests and influences led to Lovain offering his services as a “sit-in” bass player until the boys could find a permanent member—but it came as a huge surprise to no one at all when, a few months later, Lovain himself became Gold Plated Gold’s newest permanent member.

With the band roster now complete it was time to do some serious writing and some serious gigging. The band did both over the course of several months, racking up an impressive number of shows in the North Georgia region, though Chattanooga stayed off their itinerary for quite a while. 

An unusual approach, this may have worked to the band’s advantage, since by the time they made their debut at JJ’s Bohemia in July 2011, they had already achieved a certain level of polish that only comes from extensive playing and more than a few miles on the road. It was while logging those miles on the road that the band had their first taste of that staple of the rock and roll experience, the “Life Threatening Incident.”

The band was playing a show in Dalton at a dangerous bar in the bad part of town. The name of the bar doesn’t matter—every town has one and every road dog musician has played there. (One of my earliest bands used to play at a bar in the Kentucky hills where being armed was de rigueur and it was often noted that we had invested more money in our firepower than in our instruments.) 

The band arrived to an empty house save for one lone patron who they at first mistook for an overturned trashcan in both appearance and smell. The fellow quickly engaged the band in a one-sided conversation about drugs and Radiohead before pulling out a wicked-looking knife and threatening to “cut their throats if they didn’t give him a ride.” 

The arrival of a fan spooked the man, causing him to drop his knife and flee, never to be heard from again except as a favorite campfire story the band likes to tell while making s’mores (which they do often.)


November 7, 2013

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