Black & Creme, Rodes Rollins, The Teskey Brothers, The Blancos At It’s A School Night, Monday July 23rd 2018
School Night is always a good place to discover new bands and last Monday Chris Douridas’ weekly event at Bardot once again hosted great performances by 4 original and upcoming artists: In one single night, you could have sampled soulful music by Black & Creme, stunning sad ballads by Rodes Rollins, the retro soul of Australian The Teskey Brothers, and the swelling electronica of The Blancos.
Black & Creme had an hybrid sound and a lot of soul thanks to their female singer, Katrina Rose Tandy, who looked a bit like a young Whitney Houston and eventually rocked a keytar as if it was 1980. Their multi-influenced sound seemed to be all over the place, from soul, funk, fusion jazz, as well as a bit Indie rock. Tandy had a delicate and elastic voice floating above funky tracks, back up by eerie and soulful voices, often giving a polyphonic effect. The South Florida band has actually found an original sound with noticeable electronica parts, some interesting and almost gospel-inspired tempos, while a song had a cabaret feel and a Jon Brion-esque soundtrack vibe… At the end, their genre-defying music was as dance-y as it was relaxing.
with her delicate guitar work and some truly heartfelt ballads filled with heartbreaks, Rodes Rollins was a show-stopper. As she was slowly exposing a sweet vulnerability, she did remind me a bit about Eleni Mendel (although she has also been compared to Lana Del Rey), while her songs were unfolding a rare breed of emotions and sentiments. She covered Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ with a lot of heart and dedicated another song with a Nirvana-esque riff to ‘All the immigrants in this country who haven’t been treated very well by our government’… and this demonstrated that her songs had more to offer than simple young love stories. She was a natural, ending her set with a song called ‘Nasty Woman’, and getting the angriest she has ever been during her short set.
The Teskey Brothers were probably born a bit too late and in the wrong country, but does it even matter? They played music in the same vein than… let’s say Leon Bridges or Charles Bradley, as they seem to be part of this current blues-soul revival with warm hooked songs and intense vocals. Brothers Sam and Josh Teskey have discovered ‘60s American blues and soul when they were kids, and this obsession became a reality with the release of their debut album ‘Half Mile Harvest’, in 2017. Behind the gut-wrenching delivery, there was a real sweetness in the guitar melodies, and of course they had a stomp-clap song with a harmonica in the mix.
The Blancos were the last band to perform, a duo (consisting of Cory Hueston and Jayson Robbins) with an electronica-oriented sound and a frontman singing with a super-raw and plaintive voice. The result was actually quite original, a hard hitting vibe which was often blending into an hip-hop-vibe production or a retro jazz-noir track, while a distorted guitar took over the music at the end of a few songs. Signed on LAVA Records just last year, the duo played an intriguing and very passionate set, part avant-garde part retro, like a bold gospel remix with wall-scratching vocals.