Favorite

Live 

My Jerusalem, Carlos Azrate and the Kind Souls at Plush: Tuesday, Dec. 18

Although dreaded images of Grateful Dead spinoffs and/or knockoffs come to mind when the phrase "roots-rock" is uttered, My Jerusalem, along with Carlos Arzate and the Kind Souls, proved that the form has as many meanings as rock 'n' roll itself.

A local supergroup of sorts, Carlos Arzate and the Kind Souls played a brief set of acoustic guitar- and harmony-driven songs. Featuring members of American Android and the Tryst, among other Tucson bands, the focus here was on the vocal interplay between Arzate and his two female backup singers. Over rock, reggae and light funk rhythms, the three singers traded off ragged lines that were soulful and, at times, gospel-ish. Their voices sounded gorgeous together, and the basic template seemed to be that of early '70s Rolling Stones, like "Let It Loose" from Exile on Main St. The lead guitarist, who sounded like one of Eric Clapton's biggest fans, weaved his solos in and out from underneath the din of the harmonies. The Kind Souls were rootsy in the more traditional sense (i.e., blues and country music), but not so retro as to derail the formidable songwriting of Arzate.

Coming from Austin, Texas, a hotbed for roots-rock, My Jerusalem pretty much shattered all preconceived notions of its meaning. They stretched their roots back to their very name, playing fire-and-brimstone noise that was loud, raggedy and elegant. It was refreshing to hear a current indie band that didn't play garage/psychedelic rock, new wave or '90s tribute music. Instead, My Jerusalem fashioned a distinctive sound from threads of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey, among similar artists who put a stately spin on blues, distorted through a post-punk lens.

The songs were stellar, and singer Jeff Klein's booming baritone, simultaneously frightening and inviting, anchored the band, which included a multi-instrumentalist who impressively pulled off the feat of playing trumpet, trombone, synthesizer and electric guitar in the space of one song. Throughout the set, they displayed a sense of dignified restraint that put My Jerusalem into the league of a truly great band.

Tags:

More by Joshua Levine

  • Noise Annoys

    Fish Karma’s first-rate rock!
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Noise Annoys

    Big Meridox’s new EP slays
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Noise Annoys

    Time to hail Elias <3
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Latest in Live

  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • B-Sides: DJQ

    MUSIC AS POETRY
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Growing Old with Moz

    He’s still better than a stupid T-shirt
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • Tale of Two Cities

    Seattle’s Tacocat talks up the real cost of gentrification, Tucsonans chime in
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation