It may have been an early, 30-minute daytime set, but the People’s Blues of Richmond didn’t need a whole lot of time to leave one hell of an impression. “We’re here to prove that rock and roll isn’t dead,” declared vocalist Matthew Volkes. While that might be a bold statement for some, the band sure lived up to that promise as they executed a rioting set that thundered throughout the basement of The Bowery Electric.
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, the band held nothing back as they mercilessly pounded through a hard-hitting set of psych rock that was certainly not for the faint of heart. It was loud, it was manic, and hit you squarely in the chest. Keeping true to their rock in roll pledge, their tracks unapologetically explored cultural themes of sex, drugs, and violence in a thrashing performance that had moments of Zeppelin-esque vibes.
These guys don’t just play loud, they are masters of their craft. Guitarist Tim Beavers can really shred, at times ripping guitar solos while holding his guitar above his head and behind his back. That definitely takes some skill – personally, I don’t even think I could tie my shoes without looking. Drummer Nekoro Williams (son of former Wailers percussionist Drummie Zeb), ripped away at his kit, providing a heavy and ferocious, yet intricate pulse to the band’s unforgivingly intense set.
No stranger to international music showcases, People’s Blues of Richmond previously performed at SXSW in 2014. They were a standout act in a week of CMJ insanity that has certainly been good to rock fans. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long to hear more from People’s Blues, as they will make their way back to New York on January 15th to play at the Bowery Ballroom.
Article: Nicole Shyti