Midnight North – Stayin’ Single, Drinkin’ Doubles EP (2015)

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Good things have been happening with Midnight North these days, and the San Francisco band’s new four track EP Stayin’ Single, Drinkin’ Doubles, is bound to widen their already ardent fan base.

Comprised of Grahame Lesh on guitar and vocals, Elliott Peck on guitar, keyboards and vocals, Alex Jordan on guitar, organ and vocals, Connor O’Sullivan on bass, and Eric Saar on drums, Midnight North is the gold standard all roots rock bands should be aspire to. A solid grasp of the music, matched by feeling and authenticity anchor both their philosophy and songs.

The title track of the EP is a crisp and crunchy head-bobbing, foot-tapping lament of guzzling too much juice and the stumbling, fumbling, bumbling aftermath. A glistening vocal performance, amplified by sun-kissed melodies hooks the listener from the first note, while catchy construction and spangled-studded instrumentation provide added leverage. The manner which Midnight North melds guitars, fiddle and piano is lit with appeal.

Midnight North dials up the rock reflexes to potent effects on “The Right Time,” where “Find A Way” rests in a country zone. In tune and attuned, the band members clearly exist on the same page. Such closeness is also evident in their dazzling three-part harmonies, which bloom and brim with downhome vibes.

The soul and style of the Grateful Dead isn’t hard to miss on Stayin’ Single, Drinkin’ Doubles, which may stem from the fact talent is inherited, and Grahame is indeed the son of the fabled band’s bassist Phil Lesh. But Midnight North, who according to my ears, further borrow passes from country-era Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Jayhawks, are unspoiled and pure of heart.

By embracing traditional sounds and executing them with vital energy, Midnight North has produced a record that stands on its own merits.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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