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Ivory Deville And Bones Muhroni At The Satellite, Sunday January 19th 2014

Bones Muhroni




There are so many bands playing on a regular evening in Los Angeles, that I often feel overwhelmed realizing I will never be able to catch up with everyone,… so many shows to see, and so many free shows too! The Satellite has offered quite a few lately, and I barely attended any, but, on Sunday night, I got to see Ivory Deville and Bones Muhroni at this familiar place.

Was it yesterday that I thought that classic rock was totally dead according to Google play users or whatever it was? Apparently the band Ivory Deville didn’t get the message and its members are bringing back some real good old time of rock’ n’ roll with great dynamism and a modern twist. This band was a real blast to see perform on Sunday night, the sound was certainly not new but, with their energetic mix of rock-country-rhythm-and-blues, especially warmed up by two ladies (Akasha Mabry and Laura Marion) on vocals doing Supremes-like ooo-ooos (and beyond) like some true soulful back-up singers, did heat up the place at the first song. Their country rock was punchy, explosive, kicking ass tune after tune, driven by Johnny Elkins’ strong vocals, Wolf’s bluesy basslines and Ryan Wykert’s propulsive drumming. I am sure anyone could hear any kind of classics in their music, from the Stones to Van Morrison (may be a bit in the vocals) or ZZ Top or even the Velvet – easy, they have a song entitled ‘White Lights’! – but it didn’t mean they sounded old-fashioned. With his cowboy hat and sunglasses on, Elkins was embodying both blues and country rock, wanting more guitar, and asking the crowd to handclap on a few songs. It wasn’t really necessary though, the crowd was with them from start to finish.

They have recently recorded an EP of their gritty rock in Joshua Tree, a place which has definitively not ceased to inspire bands, and the four-track mini-album, simply called the Joshua Tree Recordings, can be downloaded for free here. But this is clearly just the beginning of a new adventure for these guys who are described as veterans of the Los Angeles music scene (Ivory Deville is born from the ashes of the defunct band The Muddy Reds). Just listen to their music below.

Bones Muhroni was another story, but at the same time not so different. I did find their first song on the poppy side, but they soon engaged themselves into more rockers with a rare energy, and some raucous and quirky humor. Suddenly they were all over the place, pop, rock, blues, alt-country but always showing an exuberant youth and these screaming-soaring bi-harmonies that make you want to join the choir and forget about everything bad that may be happening in your life at the moment… a bit like certain songs of Bright Eyes, you probably know which ones if you are a fan. However Bones Muhroni didn’t really seem to be about any kind of angst or melancholy, at least they didn’t look like on stage, they were some real jokers and entertainers. With catchy songs and a great confidence, the band gave us a large sample of their eclectic talent, even bringing more and more guests on stage, adding harmonica, a friend at wobbling keys and even a cello player with soulful strings for a more spacey-emotional number. They had cute funny songs, truly rocking ones and even epic ones, but they sure knew how to rise up the party ambiance level. Guitarist/singer Crew Rienstra’s unique style of dancing, mid contortion mid kickboxing, coupled with his harmonies with other vocalist and guitarist Chris Jones, were the main attraction of the ensemble getting bigger and bigger at each song.

They have released an album ‘Savvy’, and yeah since I was making some references, ‘The Mender’ has complete Shins’ harmonies. These guys are from Colorado, where they are very probably already local stars, so are they another band trying to make it in Los Angeles? I guess as they announced they were recording an album here… anyway just a good and ordinary night in Los Angeles, listening to sweet tunes before everyone gets crazy about them.

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