The Dragon's Den
Middle Rhythm Session
November 10, 2004
Judging by this description of their music I found on Middle Rhythm Session's website, the band is earnest. Maybe they take themselves a little too seriously:
1. The blending of fundamental musical traditions
2. The deliberate confluence of musical idioms.
3. Primal grooves.
4. Rock and roll for this time, ever changing and proud of its influences."
Malarky? Who am I to judge? It doesn't matter what they say because they played good music at The Dragon's Den Wednesday night. The Tampa, FL, rock quartet turned out positive rock full of grooves and hooks. It'd be easy to label them as a jam band. They looked the part, and they played unthreatening music with a progressive tilt. Still, they were better than that. Their hummable melodies were centered around song structures that were complex but that never lost me. I was confident the chorus would come around soon enough, and it did. The music was too driving to be regular jam stuff. Just enough Skynyrd thrown in their Phish tea.
Their pianist, Joe Cosas, was the shining star. Most of the solos went to him, and he dazzled with his organ playing. He also turned out some ragtime swing during one number. That's what was also great about this band--they played ragtime or reggae convincingly. The only problem with the reggae part was that the drummer was too busy and the bass wasn't fat enough. Steel Pulse's bass player probably would have laughed at the puny bass sound. Actually, the drummer was too busy throughout everything. He never threw his whole weight into the more rocking parts, and he seemed to be playing one too many notes. Drummers should stay out of the way.
With all their equipment, the band seemed very professional. They had tower Bose speakers, effects pedals galore, recording equipment, samplers, and humans. A projectionist and a soundman travel with the band. Too bad the cool, morphing projection was at too high an angle. It didn't really make a dent into the experience. The fifteen or so people on hand gave much applause to the band. They impressed The Dragon's Den's talent booker, so he's gonna try to get the band back for Jazzfest.
I think they would go over well. They play good music.