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Whispering Pines at the Satellite, Monday, August 8th,

Do you know that song ‘Whispering Pines’ by roots rock The Band, a group which can be mentioned in the same breath as  some of the greatest bands from the Grateful Dead, to Clapton to  Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,

I did not know it, but obviously had to listen to it after seeing the Silver Lake band using the same moniker. It’s a ballad, with a lot of tearful-soulful vocal harmonies, and a keyboard that sounds like a church organ playing for a gospel choir.

There was a lot of this churchy keyboard during Whispering Pines’ grandiose performance at the Satellite on Monday night, but you could say that their very rootsy sound finds its inspiration from many of other classic bands, the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, or even some early Rolling Stones, or any band with that enormous southern rock sound, a sound that could hardly fit inside the club.

The five-piece band knew how to transform it into a heavy swampy place with all these sliding guitar riffs and poignant keys, and especially this wild, alcohol-fueled harmonica, put at the center stage, as if they were some veterans of the blues-rock scene, as if nothing had existed since the 70s.

The long-haired, big-bearded, denim-wearing quintet was looking like of a revival of that brilliant and sunny-Laurel-Topanga-Canyon sound, which seems to peak these days (after all there is a Grand Ole Echo show every Sunday afternoon at another club nearby), this authentic sound that has nothing to do with recent country music.

With a name like theirs, Whispering Pines doesn’t want to make something totally new of course, as they know we have heard this music before, but there is always the possibility for a band to revisit the genre, to expand it and to make it his, an uneasy thing to do that they proved to have accomplished on Monday. Someone shouted towards the end of their set, ’10 more!’… ’10 more what? 10 more beers?’ joked one musician.

David Burden, on harmonica, percussion, and vocals, looked a little like a young Willie Nelson, but there was no real frontman in the band, as Brian Filosa on bass, Joe Bourdet, on guitar, and Dave Baine on keys and guitar, (except Joe Zabielski on drums) were all helping on vocals during their psychedelic take on Americana.

The band has self released a debut album ‘Family Tree’, that they recorded with vintage equipment at New Monkey, Elliott Smith’s Van Nuys recording studio.

They ended up their show with an epic song that seemed to sum up everything in a devilish but controlled rock-bluesy jam of 7 minute-long.
 

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