Melody and musicianship were the rule in a fun-filled triple bill at the Bootleg at the Atomic Cowboy on Friday night.
Approximately 8,500 fans of jam rock, blues, funk, soul, bluegrass and more flocked to the heartland this past weekend for the inaugural Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival, held at Kennekuk County Park just outside of the small town of Danville, Illinois, a stone's throw from the Illinois-Indiana border.
Sometimes a great cover song completely transforms the original, and sometimes it honors the original by playing it straight. The latter is very much case with Athens, Georgia band Futurebirds' chime-perfect take on R.E.M.'s "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville," but that doesn't mean it isn't great in its own way.
On "Virginia Slims," the first single from Futurebirds' forthcoming album "Baba Yaga," the Athens, Ga. band drifts and dreams through all that's best about melodic, guitar-driven indie pop.
Corralled from front porches, basement couches and backyard bonfires around Athens, Ga., the six fellas that comprise Futurebirds seem to have an appreciation for the rich, southern gothic, independent music history their hometown has birthed (see R.E.M., the Elephant Six Collective and Drive-By Truckers).
A Monday night rock & roll show in St. Louis has the potential to be an uncomfortable experience on both sides of the music; especially if it happens in the long, slate corridor of the Firebird, where Monday-night crowd members might feel isolated standing in that gaping space before the stage.
All photos by Kate McDaniel. See more at my Flickr stream.