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Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight at the Grand Ole Echo, Sunday July 31st, 2011

The Grand Ole Echo on Sunday afternoon,… at the Echo is a sort of family affair, and it is a little weird to find yourself surrounded by children and strollers in a bar usually reserved for 21 and up. In this friendly atmosphere, Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight played a dynamic set last Sunday afternoon, turning the small room into a rock-arena during their most hard rocking numbers like ‘Brown n Blue’, ‘It’s too Late’, All right’, ‘Back to the 909’, whose first balladic notes suddenly turned into a more expansive tune.

They played a lot of their songs from their 2010 release ‘Til I am Dust’, and beside the high-energy-level ones, some mellower numbers like ‘But You’, and ‘I Shoulda Danced With You’, revealing how much their take on Americana-country-rock is a love statement for this type of music.

Mick Rhodes, who is on vocals and guitar, has been around a long time on the music scene, playing in the punk band Human Therapy in the 80s, but you couldn't tell listening to the hard eight, his current band consisting of Wyman Reese on keyboard, Brian Hall on electric guitar, Brian Wells on drums, and John Sleeger on bass; it’s roots-Americana with a serious taste for rocking, Texas-via Claremont (where the band is from) honky-tonk-rock with tearing guitars and rollicking riffs, which may appear quite straightforward at first, but their Replacements’ cover ‘Waitress in the sky’, that they played at the end of their show, may surprise you.
   
The band will be appearing at South By Southwest, in Austin, TX, in March 2012, and are about to release a follow-up, to their 2010 album, ‘A Thousand Ways’, that will be out in August 2011.

 

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