The Maycomb Criers
While they may be “a loud and rowdy Americana band hell-bent on total world domination,” they sound like rural bar-band rockers with a taste for Creedence-style down-home blues. The Criers are a high-energy, good-time band with an infectious sense of fun.
Jesse Jungkurth (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Josiah Lajas (vocals/bass/harmonica), Nick Randles (vocals/drums/percussion), Brett Nolan (piano/keyboards), Evan Melgaard (guitar)
If originality is the deciding factor, this contest will be between Summer Dregs and Elk Milk. But since the audience will decide, it’ll probably come down to Blues Frog versus The Criers.
Saturday, March 2
Rick Rushing & The Blues Strangers
Related to the late, great Jimmy Rushing, blues shouter with Count Basie’s band, the blues is in Rick’s bloodline and it shows. Soft spoken and genial he may be, but put a guitar in his hand and he controls the room.
Rick Rushing (vocals/guitar), Adam Russell (bass/rhythm guitar), Steve “Chief” Muse (drums)
Straddling the line between punk and prog, Rigoletto are yet another talented group of musicians schooled at Covenant College. “There is value in changing people’s lives and in creating pure beauty,” said guitarist David Griffis. The result is accessible art rock with a thunderous bottom end.
David Griffis (lead guitar), Corey Snipes (vocals/rhythm guitar), Chris Williams (bass), Kirk Ellis (drums)
Currently second to Behold The Brave on Reverb Nation’s Chattanooga rock chart, Stereo Dig has crafted a rousing blend of Radiohead’s robotic rhythms and steely guitar with Arcade Fire’s chunky harmonies and widescreen production.
Jon Kirkendoll (vocals/synth/guitar), Adam Lawing (vocals/guitar), Sean Weldon (bass), Zach Turner (drums)
Sounding at times like Sade in dub, they’re currently No. 1 on Reverb Nation’s jazz chart.
Maria Jordania Sable (vocals), Josh Sable (guitar), Ryan Crabtree (bass), Chris Smith (drums), Golden Styles (keyboards), Michael Royer (trumpet), Josh Dunlap (sax)
Now with sweet, airy three-part harmonies, the expanded band also includes Jessica Nunn’s virtuosic viola. They were good as a duo; as a four-piece they may well be the band to beat on this night.
Dan Pinson (bass/guitar/vocals), Michael Galloway (guitar/vocals), Jessica Nunn (viola)
Ryan Oyer Band
Often tagged as a singer/songwriter, for a time he was, with an acoustic guitar and a batch of songs in hand. But now Ryan Oyer rocks with a band that blends Oasis’ burr with McCartney’s melodicism.
Ryan Oyer (guitar/vocals), Callie Harmon (guitar), Mike McDade (bass guitar), Gabriel Newell (drums)
“It’s like the Police and Trent Reznor got in a fight and ended up all twisted and bloodied,” said frontman Bijan Dhanani when asked to describe the band. Listening to them, it does sound as if Andy Summers’ guitar has been “bloodied and twisted.”
Bijan Dhanani (vocals/guitar), Kip Smith (bass), Nate Smith (drums)
Handicapping this lineup is impossible. This evening is the local live-music bargain of the year.
The Road to Nightfall Round 1 & 2 • $7 • 8 p.m. • Friday, March 1, Saturday, March 2 • Rhythm & Brews • 221 Market St. • rhythm-brews.com
Richard Winham is the producer and host of WUTC-FM’s afternoon music program and has observed the Chattanooga music scene for more than 25 years.