The sold-out show Saturday Jan. 19 at the High Watt had a country, blues – rock mix. The performances Saturday night had singer-songwriter Josh Farrow, old-country rooted artist Sturgill Simpson and Nashville’s must see act Luella and the Sun.
First up was Josh Farrow. Put the vocals of Ryan Adams and John Mayer’s blues-country vibe with harmonies and you have Josh Farrow. The crowd was still settling in the venue as he started. But, after a couple of drinks the cowboy boots were taping along to each beat. The passion in Farrow’s vocals was shown as he belts out every song. The last song Farrow performed was, “Devil Don’t You Fool Me.” This song started with metal chains beating on the snare drum and loud thumps echoing from the bass drum. His band fancies riding a soul groove with that classic country twang and of course lyrics about an inner struggle with the devil and a fiery guitar solo. Josh Farrow exited the stage and abandoned his high spirits to a rejuvenated crowd.
The next act to follow Farrow was Sturgill Simpson. Sturgill walked on the stage with a “Twang for Vote,” t-shirt. The people in the crowd wearing the cowboy boots and flannel approached closer to the front of the stage.
“If you hate country music, it’s probably because you never heard of it before,” Sturgill said to the crowd before he started.
Sturgill's statement described his old-country sound perfectly, he is the complete opposite of the radio driven pop-country. Merle Haggard meets Jamey Johnson. The crowd howled, whistled and screamed to every twang driven guitar solo and any rebelled influenced lyric.
When Sturgill left the stage, the lights dimmed in the High Watt. Two mics, wrapped in gold Christmas garland, are centered on the stage with a snare drum, Christmas bells, chains and a small rain stick.
Each member of Luella and the Sun came out individually to play the start of “Fly so Free,” as the lead vocalist Luella comes up to her two mics the crowd merges closer to the stage. Her soulful-blues voice gives this band a retro edge to them. Not to mention the 60’s tone guitar. When the music stops in the background and the stage lights turn off, Luella projected her powerful voice – silencing the whole room.
In the middle of the set Luella left the stage in silence. But, the show did not end – guitarist, Joe, performs a blues-influenced solo, then followed by a bass solo by Adam and last but not least a heavy pounding drum solo by Jon. After the drum solo Luella walks back on stage silencing the room once again with her vocals. When their set ended Luella smiled and waved everyone goodbye, but the crowd didn’t budge moving. The band comes back on for an encore performance. “Well, I’m still here, your still here,” Luella said as they play one last song for the night.
Blues. Soul. Maracas. Christmas bells. Luella and the Sun have originality.Luella and the Sun left us awestruck.