Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: Three Legged Fox at Arlene’s, NYC 3/13/09

The band went on an hour late due to the unexpected arrival of an ambulance (a morbidly obese woman had passed out during the previous band’s set). Finally, at practically the stroke of midnight, Three Legged Fox took the stage, stopping the buzzkill in its tracks. This made-for-Coachella quartet from Philadelphia imaginatively bridge the gap between upbeat rock and roots reggae, delivering a fun set that completely energized the packed Friday night crowd.

 

Is what they do rock? Is it reggae? Whatever it is, it’s good. Their rhythm section is pretty straight up, without the one-drop on the drums or the busy basslines of, say, Bob Marley. Although they did a pleasantly catchy update on the No Woman, No Cry theme simply called Away. Frontman Kyle Wareham’s casual, low-key delivery made a nice contrast with his frequently stinging guitar work. Lead guitarist Mike Brody concentrated on adding tasty accents or doubling the rhythm, delivering smartly terse, bluesy solos in the few instances when he got the chance. They opened with Slow Down, a friendly, hook-driven command to loosen up. The title track from their just-released second cd Not As Far built to a big, beautiful, dramatic crescendo. Soul Thief was straight-up Badfinger powerpop; another slow, Marleyesque song called I Am brought the music down for a brief stab at a sort of dub interlude. The obligatory herb-smoking anthem came toward the end of the set, in this case a high-spirited cover of Ganja Weed by Springfield, Missouri band Jah Roots. Finally, about seven songs into the set, we got a minor key. Since roots reggae has always been socially conscious music, it would be interesting to see what these guys could do if they decided to get serious and tackle a deeper topic than, say, legalizing herb. 

 

But no matter – Three Legged Fox have an extraordinarily high ceiling. It’s hard to imagine them going anywhere but up. There’ll always be a market for party music, especially stuff this good and this tasteful: no fonkeh wotbo Dave Matthews blackface fakeness, no interminably wanky soloing, just good vibes and one catchy song after another. Give them a couple more years on the road, and see them now, before it costs you an arm and a leg at Reggae on the River or some other jampacked outdoor festival.

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Song of the Day 3/16/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Monday’s song is #499:

Squeeze – Another Nail in My Heart

“And here in the bar, the piano man’s found another nail for my heart,” Jools Holland’s Farfisa blending magically and intensely with Chris Difford’s distorted guitar. One of the most texturally beautiful moments in recorded music history. Never mind the fact that it’s a killer new wave pop hit. From Argybargy, 1980; mp3s are everywhere

March 16, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment