In the barn behind the famous Loveless Café, successful or up-and-coming Belmont bands performed live and on air for Lightning 100 Wednesday night. The barn’s church pews and foldable chairs were filled and the crowd in the back chatted while the bands performed both old and brand new songs, thankful for the opportunity to perform and admire their Belmont peers. Between each act, the show kept going with live commercials, chats with members of the bands and, of course, introductions by host Jim Lauderdale. Westbound Rangers
Jim Lauderdale introduced this bluegrass band saying he loved them for their music and “for their ever changing facial hair.” Complete with bass, banjo, mandolin and guitar, they began with their song “Stonewall Jackson” – “Like a stonewall standin’, there stands Jackson.” They kept their upbeat music alive with hoots and hollers and, after a gospel song, finished with their theme song, which many Belmont students already knew already, shouting “Westbound Rangers!” during the chorus. During the set, one member said, “You reckon we’d be standing on this stage if not for Belmont?” To which the other replied, “I reckon not. Thank you Bob Fisher, wherever you are.” Listen to their music at westboundrangers.com.
Korbin arrived in her sun dress and guitar in hand to play folk-pop music. A man on guitar and another on drums accompanied her, performing songs from her album, The Bush. A songwriting major, her lyrics made the songs. The performance was sweet, easy and upbeat.
The leads of this pop rock band were married couple Chuck and Pap Shirock, who sang together while playing guitar and keyboard respectively. With lots of emphasis on the keys, their music had a U2/Florence and the Machine-like sound. During their chat with Craig Havighurst, they explained the band, like many Belmont groups, started by just playing with friends. They are currently working on releasing their album in the UK. Listen to their music at shirock.net.
Kopecky Family Band
Although the bands so far were far from mediocre, this large, upbeat, pop rock band seemed to steal the show – so far. After performing in Bonnaroo and South by Southwest, it’s easy to say this Belmont group has had some level success in the music world. Changing instruments during songs, with everything from maracas to xylophone to trombones, their music, instruments, and even whistling somewhat resembled a more rock version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Listen at kopeckyfamilyband.com.
The aura transitioned from relaxing and warm to electric when Lauderdale presented Apache Relay. With a real rock ‘n’ roll vibe, the five-member band built up their set with “State Trooper” – “Mr. State Trooper please don’t stop me.” The punching beat – emphasized by a few of the lead singer’s hip thrusts – had the crowd in the back of the barn bouncing. But the audience shrieked with joy for their catchy, upbeat song “Lost Kid.” Listen at www.theapacherelay.com.
But the show wasn’t over yet – there had to be a big finish with all the bands in the Loveless Jam session. So Lauderdale gathered everyone on stage for a classic Beatles song, “Don’t Let Me Down.” Lauderdale served as the leader, searching around during each chorus for the next verses’ soloist. The trombones, tambourines, xylophone and all returned to end the night in a collaboration of Belmont peers and music.
Music City Roots occurs every Wednesday at the Loveless Barn and live on Lightning 100, or FM station 100.1. For more information, visit www.musiccityroots.com.