Southern Rock in Southern California…it’s about damn time!
“It’s kind of like a reunion tonight,” Eric Heuscle said to me right before I brought them on stage. It wasn’t just a reunion for many of the band members and their friends; it was a Southern Rock night in Southern California! Brick by Brick was host to a spectacle of Cowboy Boots, Tall Hats, and Full Bushy Beards as the main attraction was about to take the stage. Red Tail Riders were just about to make their live debut, to friends, family, and a few strangers that they were about to meet. They are a brand new Southern Rock band out of SoCal, formed mostly by the members of Mother Grundy, plus a few additions. The six-member Outlaw Country group consists of Eric Heuscle (Mother Grundy) and Trevor Edwards (Skynyrds Innyrds and Southern Reign) on guitars, Tom Wolverton on Slide guitar, Dave Held (Mother Grundy) on bass, David Zedaker (Mother Grundy) on Drums, and Robin Hoffos (Mother Grundy) playing some mean tambourine…and providing that beautiful country tenor voice!
The Southern Rock night began with another brand-new band, Trevor Edwards’ new project Southern Reign. While only three members were up on stage, the band has two additional members that weren’t present for their set tonight, but you can hear them on their first CD, due out in a few months. Their sound was definitely rockin! Traditional southern rock beats in the back and Trevor’s shredding on that Gibson SG stealing the show. I’m sure he was just warming up that fret-board for his time in Red Tail Riders later than night, but it sounded amazing.
Following Southern Reign was another excellent band, Boxcar Chief. BackStage360 first heard of them this past summer when they opened for Sonny Landreth, an interview I will never forget! The man is a genius, cool and collected, like he was born with the guitar. Watch the full interview with him here. Boxcar Chief opened for him that night and blew us all away, so I was delighted to see them on the bill for tonight’s show. These guys played with precision and power, the five-piece Southern Rock group from San Marcos filled the front of Brick by Brick with their sound and people as the place began to get packed. Brian and Steve enjoyed dueling solos on their Gibson’s, but it appears that Steve won…he was all over the fret-board, never missing a beat, and tearing up that Marshall stack behind him. I thought I saw smoke coming out of it, but it was just the effects on stage, that’s good…it looked like an expensive amp.
Then it was time…Red Tail Riders started setting up and you could feel the excitement. Nearly everyone was on pins and needles, waiting to hear how this new group was going to sound…at only a few months in the making. A quick little intro from yours truly, and Robin took control. Kicking off with a country twang all too familiar to these fans, all six members jumped right into their assigned duties, all looking more than comfortable with their respective instruments. The slide Guitar was ever-present and haunting through each track, so Robin took a moment to introduce Tom Wolverton as a whiz on the instrument that’s harder to play than “flying a helicopter,” he casually laments. It wasn’t but three songs in when the line dancing broke out, with the help of a few lovely ladiesat the front, and it didn’t stop! You couldn’t help but move to the twang of that slide guitar and the steady, metronome-like beats from David, these guys were polished musicians…definitely an impressive introduction to the new musical styling’s of Red Tail Riders. Performing mostly cover songs, and doing them about as good as the originals (maybe just as good…or even better, as one enthused fan told me), they threw in a few originals here and there. At only a few months in the making, I’m impressed. I can’t wait to see what their future will sound like.