Saturday, August 8, 2009

Melodime @ Jammin' Java

On a lazy Friday evening, I was too tired to venture out to The Birchmere to watch the The Fabulous Thunderbirds and there was no way I was going to fight the Beltway on a Friday to head to Merriweather Post Pavilion and The Birchmere; so I hiked to Jammin' Java to see what's up. The venue had two shows scheduled for that evening, I missed the first but arrived in time for The Noah Woods Project followed by the Melodime. I had never heard of either act, but apparently others had - because the venue was as populated as when national acts perform. The opening act had a really unique sound attributed to really good guitar playing by front man Noah Woods and a surrounding cast of woodwinds, bass, drums, and viola. That's an arrangement you don't see very often. The songwriting was clever and Woods' voice is rather Paul Simon-ish. As the group matures their stage presence should improve to form a solid act.

Stage presence was not a problem for the main attraction, Melodime, and they were primarily responsible for the large crowd that night. Apparently the band has build a solid local community of fans because throughout the night most were singing along or even taking over the vocals. Our mistake for letting this band fly under our radar; particularly since they excel with the Americana fused genre we prefer - a good mixture of alt-country, blues, folk, and rock. Melodime is fronted by Bradley Rhodes, whose voice is sometimes a complete replica of Paul Thorn - close your eyes and you can't tell the difference. At times I was waiting for them to belt out "800 Pound Jesus". Brothers Tyler and Sam Duis comprise the rest of the band, on percussion and bass\keyboards respectively. It appears that the band recently changed their lineup with the addition of two new members: Nathan Thomas on bass and crowd favorite - at least for the guys - Katie Shanta on the Violin.

In any case, I like their sound and with self - depreciating humor they are and entertaining group. I really liked "Orange People" which you can hear on the myspace page, "63", and the "Recession" song. There was definitely a nice rock-alt country flare and they can play; but at times some of the songs tended to blend together. That being said, I look forward to their next CD which should be released late summer or early fall. Basically this evening was another example why you should get out of the house and listen to live music; even going to shows where you've never heard the artist - you might find some new favorites.

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