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Rock the Republic promotional show

Review of live music at Schotzi's

Published: Monday, September 5, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

Local artist Lindsay Harris

Steve Wells

Local artist Lindsay Harris satisfies crowds’ appetite for mellow music

Dedicated to discussing and promoting both local and regional musicians, venues, and festivals, this culture blog is updated every Monday.  Readers can look forward to music reviews, concert updates, and commentary on the best in the music world.

With memories of last year's Rock the Republic (RTR) still ringing in my head, it's hard to believe that the glorious downtown Bryan music festival is already fast approaching with a scheduled date of November 11, 2011. In an attempt to further build anticipation for this year's festival, the hard working guys and gals over at RTR organized an awesome promotional show over at Schotzi's last Friday, September 2, with some of the best new bands from Austin and Houston. As a sucker for free shows and new bands, I decided to check it out and get a sneak peak of the upcoming Rock the Republic talent.

As the clock struck ten and the crowd began to trickle into Schotzi's ridiculously cool outdoor patio area, Austin rockers Saints of Valory took to the stage with a polished and professional performance. The quartet's radio-friendly, rock pop sound was drenched in entrancing guitar delay and also featured driving bass and subdued, atmospheric keyboard, which meshed together nicely with the impressive crooning of lead vocalist, Gavin Jasper.Towards the end of an already solid set, the Saints' took a sudden and completely unexpected change in direction, abandoning their soft rock influences for a more intense, heavy sound. My favorite part of their performance had to have been watching front man Gavin Jasper roll around on his back in a frenzy, drawing loud cheers and whistles from the crowd. These guys really do put on a great show, and it was apparent that they work tirelessly on perfecting their act. 

The Saints of Valory had performed to a pretty large crowd, but the back patio of Shotzi's was now packed. Most of the buzz in the crowd seemed to be about the next act, local singer-songwriter, Lindsay Harris.  Lindsay usually performs either as a solo act or with the accompaniment of another guitarist, but tonight she was pulling out all of the stops, utilizing a full band with drums, bass, and lead guitar.

Sporting an acoustic guitar, Lindsay led the band flawlessly through an excellent diverse set that kept the audience mesmerized and wanting more. Her sound could best be described as a slightly darker take on Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' style of classy country with a dash of sultry jazz, similar to the likes of KT Tunstall. Lindsay really impressed me with her ability to continuously morph the feel and mood of the set, quickly shifting emotions from heartbreak to joy with an ease that is usually only seen from veteran songwriters, even abandoning the full band, at one point, to play a duet with her lead guitarist.  Lindsay is a very talented writer and performer, so be sure to check her out at Rock the Republic, later this year.  (You can download her new "Lemon Tree" EP over at her band camp, which can be accessed from her Facebook page.)

Next up was local funk/jam band, The Conglomerate. While Lindsay Harris had satisfied the crowds' appetite for mellow music, their obvious desire to groove was still left unfulfilled…that is, until The Conglomerate took the stage.  As the band began their own interpretation of "Pick Up The Pieces" by Average White Band, it became clear that these guys were on a mission to funk. With one initial kick of the bass drum, the outdoor patio had been instantly transformed into a massive dance party that had every aggie out there grooving and moving. (I'll admit, I couldn't keep from attempting to look like I know how to dance.) The Conglomerate quickly ran through a strong, high energy set that everyone seemed to enjoy, ending with a performance of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" featuring Lindsay Harris.

As Mosby, an alternative-rocking duo from Houston, finally took to Schotzi's stage, I instantly became a fan of their laid back, 90's tinged sound. Mosby brought the high energy of the crowd back down to manageable levels, with driving, yet subdued rock songs that maintained a good mix of melody and dynamic. Closing out the night, Mosby ended with a bang which left me very happy both their performance, and the show overall.

Mosby is a pretty new band, but their great live show and unique sound made me confident that they will soon become a popular band here in town.

If this promotional show was a taste of things to come, Rock the Republic 2011 is going to be the most delicious festival this town has ever seen. These bands all put on a great show, and it gets me really excited to see people going out in such large numbers to support local music. Local musicians like Lindsay Harris and The Conglomerate could really use your support, so if you like what you hear, be sure to share their music with your friends and get yo'self out to one of their shows! 

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