On Saturday night Jamestown Revival returned to Los Angeles to perform a show at The Mint. The venue itself is a rather eclectic place, filled with tables and a booths, it has more of a lounge feel than anything else. It seemed to be the perfect venue for the this band, who I’ve seen play an acoustic set before at the Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival last year, a place where it was easy for their sound to get lost in the massive surroundings and the audiences lack of knowledge of who they were. They caught my attention though and it was a different experience entirely seeing them play full band in an intimiate setting.
Made up of two best friends from Texas, they have something of a back porch country style mixed with folk rock; and they remain as eclectic as they are talented. When they play the sound is completely cohesive, each song different enough to give the audience something of surprise around each corner but together they form a distinctive sound for Jamestown. For a band that’s so rootsy in feel, I was surprised by the intensity of each of their performances, both singers spot on when it came to tapping into the emotion or fun of each song and conveying that to the audience. Their harmonies are gorgeous, it’s obvious they’ve been singing together long enough to know exactly how their two voices blend, and it’s a beautiful sound when you hear it.
One of the songs that stood out in the set was “The Revival,” a blusey, roots inspired song filled with beautiful harmonies and a fun back beat that definitely got the audience moving. It seems to be something of a signature song with them, the fun finger-picking and tambourine shaking making for different sound that what most of Los Angeles is used to. They treated us to a song they had written just that day and for something so new, it was an awesome tune right from the beginning. With an old country sound akin to Johnny Cash, “Taking It Easy Tonight” was all bass and harmonic fun. It had an undeniable groove to it that got the bar tapping their toes right along. Even though no one in the room knew it, it was as if all of us had grown up listening to it, and maybe some of us had grown up listening to something similar.
I was even more impressed this time around, having been expecting another acoustic set that might have gotten lost in the The Mint’s loungey atmosphere, but all Jamestown did was bring it up the mood from the moment they took the stage. It was fun, upbeat enough to get people moving and focused despite being in a bar with a lot going and Jonathan and Zach both have incredibly endearing qualities that make them exciting to watch. Needless to say, next time Jamestown Revival comes to Los Angeles I’ll definitely be going out to see them play, and you should, too.
Also, Happy birthday to the guy in the overalls. He really brought back the old school feel.