MUSIC BOX: Meet psych rock up-and-comers New Madrid

By on March 18, 2014
New Madrid brings a fiery energy akin to My Morning Jacket.
New Madrid brings a fiery energy akin to My Morning Jacket.

New Madrid brings a fiery energy akin to My Morning Jacket.


JACKSON, WYO – After stops at South by Southwest and Treefort festivals, Southern indie rock 20-somethings New Madrid will make a stop at Town Square Tavern before bolting to central California for a show just two nights later. Now, that’s youthful will. The effort made by the quartet from Athens, Georgia, to add a Jackson stop on its first Western tour probably has a lot to do with drummer Alex Woolley’s brother, Adam Woolley, who is the bassist for local groups Uncle Stack & the Attack and Black Mother Jones.

“New Madrid is not just talented musicians playing music with one another, they’re a great band, and there’s a big distinction there,” said local musician Dusty Nichols, who played a bill with New Madrid while touring the South with Elk Attack. “There’s something totally natural and seamless in their live performance that’s rare to find in any band today.”

With equal parts rock and twang, a spice of psychedelic and soaring song finishes that approach the epic, the comparison to My Morning Jacket is evident and deserved. New Madrid is being recognized by some respectable entities, too. Pitchfork and Paste Magazine have both praised the band, the latter providing an exclusive, early stream of the band’s now-released Sunswimmer LP. The album was produced by former Sugar bassist David Barbe and released via Athens-based label Normaltown, which is the new sister label of New West (Drive-by Truckers).

“The songs were heavily informed by the live setting, and were written while steadily running around the south playing shows in a variety of spaces,” said guitarist and vocalist Phil McGill.

Take a chance on this band before it moves onto stages much bigger than its britches.

New Madrid with Uncle Stack & the Attack, 9:30 p.m., Tuesday at Town Square Tavern. $5. 733-3886.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real croon the Knotty

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real croon the Knotty

Nelson keepin’ it Real
Music connoisseurs familiar with Willie Nelson would likely be able to glean from his son’s nasally vocal tone alone of their relation. Pitch in a fondness for songs with pot references and the knack for crooning a slow ballad, and that’s but a small piece of Lukas Nelson’s foray into what has developed into a quality, entertaining rock show.

The heady divergences that continue to push Lukas beyond his father’s shadow start with a Stratocaster that wails in a Stevie Ray-meets-Hendrix fashion. Like Hendrix, Lukas also has an infatuation with Bob Dylan, which comes through in his knack for song craft on his band’s latest album, Wasted. Nelson and Promise of the Real have made seven or eight stops in Teton County over the last five years, establishing a timeline that has enabled some to enjoy his progression up close and personal.
Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, 10 p.m., Sunday at the Knotty Pine in Victor. $22. 208-787-2866.

Experience the infectious Martin Sexton at Center Theater

Experience the infectious Martin Sexton at the Pink Garter Theatre

Commanding solo sense

The delicacy of vocal range and his charismatic audience interaction is impressive enough to buy a ticket for a Martin Sexton show. That infectious energy and the power of a single voice are well displayed within the confines of his most recent Live at the Fillmore album. From wild and rollicking to deep, self-questioning tunes, Sexton is one hell of a talent and a multi-trick pony.
Opening the show is former Jackson local, folk-pop singer-songwriter Jay Nash. Bringing to mind a dash of mellow, Nebraska-era Springsteen and the mainstream sensibility of John Mayer, Nash spent 13 years in L.A. before heading east to settle in Vermont. Nash released his 10th album, Letters from the Lost, in May 2013.

Martin Sexton with guest Jay Nash, 8 p.m., Thursday at The Pink Garter Theatre. $25-$28.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a decade-long writer of Music Box, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, member of Screen Door Porch and Boondocks, founder/host of Songwriter’s Alley, and co-founder of The WYOmericana Caravan.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login