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Saturday, 07 September 2013 12:00

J Roddy Walston and the Business 9/7/13 + Video

J Roddy Walston and the Business at KDHX J Roddy Walston and the Business at KDHX Virginia Harold
Written by Kevin Edwards
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  • Date Recorded: September 7, 2013
  • Artist / Band: J Roddy Walston and the Business
  • Hosting Show: The Mixtape
  • Sound: Dan Kinney
  • Video: Melissa James and Valerie Tichacek

Rock music was born on a piano and nursed on a guitar. There might be some that would argue, but J Roddy Walston and the Business probably would not.

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But don't call Mr. Walston a keyboard player. He most certainly would argue with that. He plays piano with a driving power, not unlike Ike Turner, who pounded the ivories on what many consider to be the first rock record, "Rocket 88" in his pre-St. Louis days. But Walston also plays guitar, perhaps when he needs to stretch his legs.

The band formed in Cleveland, Tenn., the home base of the Church of God, and the syncopation and exuberance of gospel is essential to the band's sound, as it is in so much early rock and roll. Walston's grandmother played music in the church and taught him all about the spirited joy of making music as exaltation. Make no mistake: this is not Coldplay or Keane.

The group tours extensively and plays rousing live shows featuring Walston, who sings with a raspy voice somewhat like Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon, with Billy Gordon on lead guitar, Logan Davis on bass and Steve Colmus on drums.

In addition to "Don't Break the Needle," from their 2010 eponymously titled album, the session includes two songs from their new record, "Essential Tremors," soon to be released on ATO Records.

Listen closely and hear the squeal of Little Richard. This is not pop. This is not new age or disco. This is rock. And roll.

All photos by Virginia Harold

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