Coach-A-Palooza Rocks The ‘Boro

The third annual Coach-A-Palooza was held at Coach’s Grill on Saturday, Oct. 2. The eight-hour musical event was an all-ages, family friendly show that began outside at 6 p.m. and lasted until 2 a.m. With an admission price of only $7 per person, this live music extravaganza is a great and inexpensive way to spend an evening.

The live festivities kicked off with the country-rock stylings of the Barefoot Renegades, whose repertoire included songs from Alabama to Georgia Satellites and Luke Bryan. The hour-long set also included a smattering of the band’s own originals delivered with bravado from barefooted lead singer Wes Cook. The small but intimate crowd seemed to enjoy the band’s sound, which could be described as a combination of the Zac Brown Band and Hootie and the Blowfish. The band’s playful onstage antics included comical banter about out-of-tune guitars and vocals due to the weather, before stating they had to head out of town for another gig.

Barefoot (1)

(The Barefoot Renegades)

After a brief stage re-set, the evening continued with a strong set of rocking cover tunes provided by Octane Jane. “Let’s get ready to party,” exclaimed lead singer Angel Nash before breaking into their brand of high energy rock. Nash’s powerful lead vocals ripped through such favorites as Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” as well as newer songs by Kings of Leon and Maroon 5. The band switched things up a bit when their lead guitarist delivered a rousing version of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” complete with powerfully aggressive vocals of which Rivers Cuomo himself would be envious. Octane Jane’s set ended with AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” which kept the audience on its feet and singing along.

The music-filled night progressed with another local favorite, The Compromise. The band’s set was comprised of a mix of original and cover songs, which bring to mind a harder edged Gin Blossoms. “Rock ‘n’ roll is what we’re playing,” declared lead singer Brandon Bell before tearing into Foo Fighter’s “Learning to Fly.” By the time The Compromise took the stage, the crowd had been well primed for good music, and judging from their response, the audience was thoroughly enjoying what they were hearing.

Compromise (1)

(The Compromise)

Upon completion of The Compromise’s performance, the event moved inside Coach’s Grill for the final band of the night, JT and the Funky Bunch. The funky band’s party music provided the perfect ending for the show. The audience responded enthusiastically to their funked-up white soul, as well as their talent to blend humor and music. JT and his band’s smooth groovin’ style seemed as if it had been handpicked to bring the evening full of music and fun to a close.

Coach-A-Palooza took place on a crisp, cool, breezy night, and all in attendance seemed to have a lot of fun. The crown ranged in age from late teens to late 50-somethings. The event had the feel of an old-fashioned block party combined with a giant karaoke sing-a-long. Audience member, Tina Vaughn from Smyrna, said she heard about the event from a friend on Facebook. A self-proclaimed music lover, Vaughn confessed, “I love music. I came to hear all of the bands.” When asked if she planned to attend next year, Vaughn responded, “Absolutely. This is awesome. I’m going to make this an annual thing.” Coach’s Grill is located at 127 S.E. Broad St.

Copyright ©2010 The Murfreesboro Pulse

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Tetsuo: These Crystals Don’t Burn

These Crystals Don't Burn

Hardcore rockers Tetsuo announce their arrival into the music scene loud and proud on their debut album These Crystals Don’t Burn. The post-punk psychedelic sounds of the local 4-piece band slam through 13 tracks with fierce and reckless abandon akin to the Beastie Boys possessed by the Sex Pistols. Listeners should be forewarned: this is not an album for the faint at heart. It is a jarring, rough and raucous ride that starts with the opening track and doesn’t ease up until the final note of the closing instrumental.

Kicking things off is the frantic thrashing of “Banshee Mansion,” which cuts through the musical landscape like a sharp, jagged knife complete with angry lyrics and crunchy power chords. Tetsuo seem to subscribe to the do-it-yourself aesthetic of punk rock combined with a generous helping of drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll included in the mix to create a style of their own.

“I don’t give a damn about this life/I ain’t no Kurt Cobain/but I can’t complain,” the lead singer proclaims in the set’s most hook laden, accessible track, “Smoking Cigarettes with Famous People.”

They also include plenty of local shout outs in “Approaching Nashville,” which contains such lyrics such as “she puts out for the Christiana/Antioch/Harding Place boys . . . she’s too busy in Smyrna, Tennessee,” making sure the listener is well aware of the band’s regional locality.

Two of the more notable and interesting selections found here are “Horse Girl” and “God’s Announcement.” The almost danceable “Horse Girl” clocks in at just over six minutes during its multiple tempo changes and is quite possibly the most original and inventive of the songs presented here. The latter, “God’s Announcement,” includes an infectious chant-like chorus that is repeated just enough times to ensure the listener has no other choice but to surrender and shout out “guard your heart” again and again.

Although this is clearly an album aimed at a specific audience with a taste for aggressive, hard rock, it is truly a bombastic aural assault that will satiate fans of that genre. What the band members may lack in musicianship, they more than make up for with plenty of attitude and swagger, not to mention an ample amount of explicit, riotous lyrics and out-of-tune guitars thrown in just for good measure.

Copyright ©2010 The Murfreesboro Pulse

Darius Rucker: Charleston, SC 1966

Darius Rucker certainly had the odds stacked against him when beginning the recording process for his second country album, Charleston, SC 1966. The follow-up to his platinum country debut, 2008’s Learn To Live, had a lot to live up to. After amassing four hit singles, three of which went all the way to number one, pulling off another successful country album may have seemed daunting to most artists. Fortunately, it seems Rucker has managed to do just that by capturing lightning in a bottle for the second time.

The new album, which is aptly named in the same fashion as Rucker’s musical idol Radney Foster’s Del Rio, TX 1959, more than lives up to its predecessor’s accomplishments. Beginning with the lead off track, “This,” Rucker sings about how all the events of his life, no matter how big or small, have played a significant role in where his life has taken him. The song is indicative of the album’s 13 songs, which includes great lyrics underscored with healthy doses of mandolin, banjo, fiddle and steel guitar.

Included here is the current hit, “Come Back Song,” a country radio staple during the summer, in which he sings, “I’m the backside of a mule.” Although Rucker has never kept his love of country music a secret, he seems more than comfortable in the genre with this release. The aforementioned tune is followed by the upbeat and catchy, “Might Get Lucky,” which talks about a husband and wife trying to find a way to spend some ‘special alone time together’ and sounds as if it is ready to leap off the record and onto country radio playlists.

“Whiskey and You,” is not just another drinking song, but instead it is a beautiful and heartfelt ballad. “I keep coming back to whiskey and you,” Rucker admits in this album highlight, which is every bit as good if not better than anything included on his previous album.

One of the particularly striking standouts included here is, “Southern State of Mind,” which fits perfectly with the album’s theme. “No changing who I am / No matter what state I’m in / I’m in a southern state of mind / Back home in Carolina,” Rucker confesses.

“The sky starts spinning when our heads get above the clouds,” Rucker sings in “We All Fall Down.” This track is sure to be a treat for longtime fans of the artist, since it bares the most resemblance to one of Hootie and the Blowfish’s best ballads.

Additional album highlights are “I Don’t Care” and “She’s Beautiful.” The former is a humorous duet with label mate Brad Paisley and is delivered in Paisley’s often playful lyrical style. This upbeat tune about late night partying will surely be in heavy rotation in the not so distant future in country bars and radio alike. Followed by the mid-tempo, “She’s Beautiful,” which may be Rucker’s best vocal performance to date, this song has hit written all over it. Even with lyrics such as, “I’ll love her ‘til the day I die / I’m one lucky man,” Rucker manages to pull this modern love song off successfully, without sounding sappy.

The album closes with the fitting, “In A Big Way,” which returns to the album’s hometown theme. “I need some front porch rocking / Back road walking / Some biscuits cooking in the oven,” sings Rucker gleefully. He continues on to say, “I need some hanging ‘round my little town in a big way,” which ends things on a perfect note.

Charleston, SC 1966 is full of potential hits that will more than satisfy old and new fans alike. It seems his entire career has led up to the making of this album. Frank Rogers’ winning production style more than suits the material presented here, all of which was co-written by Rucker, along with some of the best writers Nashville has to offer. This is more than just a solid effort, it truly is a great country record.