Lee Fields & The Expressions and The Ballantynes at Fortune Sound Club, September 1st
“The seven-piece (!) Ballantynes took to the stage, gave each other some “You good? Let’s go,” looks, and got right to doing what their first song announced – “blow ‘em away”. “The Message” gives you a good sense of what this raucous, good-time group is all about – after an initial, three-second ringing chord, the train takes off and all seven cogs click along in jangling unison as conductor/madman Jarrod Odell lovingly hammers his Hammond, yelling out “Hey, I got a message!”, a heralding call echoed by his sultry soul sisters, Jennifer Wilks and Vanessa Dandurand.
Whether you’re following Odell’s dramatic performance or just can’t break from Dandurand’s Medusa-hot gaze, it’s nigh impossible to look away from The Ballantynes. Max Sample’s bopping bass rides the clickity-clack tracks laid down by the double drums of Trevor Racz and Michael “Mr. Nice Guy” McDiarmid, as Corey Poluk’s sharp, reverbed, borderline-surfer guitar cuts through it all. This merry band gives its all on stage and, most of all, have fun, which is obvious in the sweat, smiles and soul on display.
I’ve never heard “M-I-S-E-R-Y” being called and answered with such happiness. “No Love”, “You Don’t Know” (which they debuted on Saturday), “Goodbye Baby”… there’s no point trying to identify highlights in their set. It all feels good, it all feels new, and damn is it fun! If you didn’t get the message a couple paragraphs ago, here it is again – give them a spin. Also, do not miss them at The Electric Owl on September 22. It would be criminal.”
Photos by Mark Gutknecht for Fortune Sound Club
see the whole set HERE