by Michele Zipkin
Hezekiah Jones brought folk, roots rock and then some to Johnny Brenda’s this past Thursday, June 26th. They shared a bill with New Sweden, The Spinning Leaves (who played their first show as a band in over a year,) and Lovers League, who released their debut album that very day.
Hezekiah Jones’ set boasted a healthy mix of older tunes and some yet-to-be-recorded material. “Knives of Summertime” came early on, which left a warm impression as heads were nodding and bodies swaying. It felt very much like a summer scene, as Raph Cutrufello sang that sweet melody, Kiley Ryan played bluegrass-y licks on the fiddle, and the rest of the band perpetuated the song’s addictive beat.
“Spare the Wicked”, a seemingly new tune in the band’s arsenal, sported more ambiguity in genre, as they seem to have a great talent to do. Rock suffused the percussion, folk pervaded the guitar and perhaps the vocal melody took a blend of the two. An elaborate drum solo from Kevin Killen, followed by some bad-ass bass work from Phil D’Agostino found the other band members sitting on the stage observing and clapping as if they were audience members themselves.
Other tunes in the lineup included “Cannonball”, “Cupcakes for the Army” and “Borrowed Heart”, which was, of course, more haunting and beautiful than ever. “Hildebrand”, the last song of the set, got the very local and artist-heavy crowd dancing, as many of the previous tunes had.
But old or new, aspects of each song became as raucous and electric as a Zeppelin breakdown, or as acoustic and folky as Old Crow Medicine Show. One of the cool things about Hezekiah Jones is that they really defy a set genre- they let their songs unravel as their musical gut tells them, and they stand out because of it.
As a special encore, TJ McGlinchey and Dani Mari from Lovers League played a gorgeous version of “Two of Us” by The Beatles. Their beautiful harmony floated through the atmosphere like a gentle breeze. Needless to say, it was the perfect end to a night of delightful music.