Desert Beats - "Nothing Without You"
It feels like I have been begging Desert Beats to put out recordings for forever, but the band played its first show less than a year ago. They are something of a supergroup in local terms, consisting of Randall Dempsey (Snake! Snake! Snakes!), Jess Pruitt (Doctor Bones, Field Tripp) and Donnie Atkinson (Sun Ghost). With that much talent I knew I would not be disappointed when I went to see their debut show last year and I was not -- its brand of "desert rock 'n' roll" is pretty fantastic, and their recordings definitely do them justice. This week they have released their debut single/video for "Nothing Without You," and it is a great beginning for this desert rock power trio, and I certainly hope there is an EP or an album soon to follow in its wake. There IS something about this song that is thoroughly soaked in the Sonoran desert and sagebrush imaginings, which I can't describe much better than that, but you can feel it in the guitar every step of the way. Dempsey has a fascinating voice that recalls the early creative vox of early Kings of Leon. The song is so desert you can feel the heat coming off of it. What's more, the video is fantastic and only serves to underscore this sensibility, completely shot on 8 mm film with a Super 8 camera. It is an instant classic you can watch below.
The Through & Through Gospel Review
Joel Marquard has been known for many things in the local music scene, whether it was as guitarist for Dear & The Headlights, frontman for Gospel Claws, or guitarist and songwriter for Samuel L Cool J, all of which have been heralded for their brilliance. The strangest project of his has to be The Through & Through Gospel Review, a band based on roots gospel music, but somehow incorporating many of the compelling elements found in many of his other bands. I had seen them twice before I even knew they had even had an album available. Now The Through & Through Gospel Review will release their second full length album entitled On The Lord's Wrecking Crew and my favorite single from it so far is the standout track "Don't Let It Die." Marquard takes an ancient genre that he loves and runs it through his own filter, his own vision of how to bring these found sounds he's fond of up to date. It's a brilliant concept and it works. The Through & Through Gospel Review will release On The Lord's Wrecking Crew on vinyl at the Music Instrument Museum in Scottsdale on Friday, April 10th as they headline a show with Field Tripp and MRCH.