Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 15:23 | Written by Hank "Hitman" Hart
Kinderhook and Southern Steel
Keepin’ the Music Alive!
Strand Theatre, Lakewood, NJ
January 19th 2013
I’ve written reviews about these two awesome New Jersey bands in the past and this article is not really a specific review about their recent show they did together, but more a reflection on what it is that makes them special, unique, and sets them apart from the all the other bands playing the bar/club circuit.
There are many “tribute” bands out there that pay homage to a specific group; in “Joisey” there is Slippery When Wet who covers Bon Jovi, The B Street Band, a Springsteen cover band, and there are tribute bands for Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and on and on. The Southern Steel Band, affectionately known as “New Jersey’s Guitar Army” is a tribute band that covers southern rock.
So many bar/club bands can play “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Midnight Rider”, and “I Know a Little”, but there is none that I know of, at least in this part of the U.S.A., that plays songs such as The Outlaws, “Green Grass and High Tides”, Blackfoot’s “Highway Song”, Marshall Tucker’s “24 Hours at a Time” or .38 Special’s “Hold on Loosely”.And I mean “PLAY” them!!! The band rips into each song with powerful lead vocals, blazing guitars, stomping bass and kick ass drums with tasty fills on the keyboard. Southern Steel has garnered much deserved attention and gained enormous credibility based on their attention to detail and the passion for this genre of music that it has gotten them opening gigs with Dickie Betts, Marshall Tucker and The Outlaws. We southern rock fans have come to expect a certain level of performance, expect to hear certain little nuances in the songs at shows by the Allmans, Skynyrd, and the rest of that community and Steel nails them.
Kinderhook has that same passion for the country rock they so majestically play. I mean nobody, absolutely nobody, on the circuit is playing Commander Cody’s “Too Much Fun”, The Band’s “Ophelia” “Six Days on the Road” covered by The Flying Burrito Brothers or one of Kinderhook’s standbys…Moby Grape’s, “Ain’t No Use”.
Kinderhook is a band with soaring lead vocals and harmonies which are contributed by ALL in the band. Their music grows on you, your feet starts tapping, hips start swaying, and you have found yourself smiling. Good time music, and as I wrote in an earlier review of them…pure Americana.
Now here’s the catch…the people that go see these bands…they need to spread the word!!! You can’t hear this music on the radio anymore…if your old albums are worn out, and there’s not a digital version to get from ITunes…what are you going to do? Plus, c’mon folks…”teach your children well”…get them away from all the crap on the airwaves and on all those TV shows and turn them on to great music and musicians.
I don’t know about you, but I never tire of hearing the songs. Call it being nostalgic, call it not wanting to grow up…but I call it the best damn music being played in this part of the country. This guy will continue to go see these two wonderful bands, will continue to talk about them, write about them, continue to recruit fans for them because they deserve it…they put all their energy into every gig they do and all they ask of you is to come out and see them, give them a listen, and most of all, have a good time.