For all of you who weren’t at Hill Country in Penn Quarter this past Saturday night, you were really missing out on the show to be at. Uncle Lucius, a Southern Rock band I first saw a year ago was headlining the BBQ joint’s downstairs space and really rocked the whole night long. While I had only seen them once, they definitely left a lasting impression on me and I was ecstatic to hear of their return to D.C.
If you like bands like The Allman Brothers, The Band, or Lynyrd Skynyrd, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like Uncle Lucius. If you want more information on the band, their facebook page describes their unique genre as “Southern Outlaw Soul” and includes influences such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, and all of the Stax records. I recommend checking out one of their tunes if you want to know more.
I can’t say enough good things about this band. Kevin Galloway’s soulful vocals are things what dreams are made of. This band would not be the same without his emotion and his twang. Honestly, sometimes his singing was just so gosh darn sexy.
The genius guitar playing of Mike Carpenter pulls the group together with plenty of energy and stamina to keep you coming back for more.
The reason you can’t stop dancing (or at the least, tapping your foot)? That would be percussionist (and ‘fro-master), Josh Greco. Not only can he really play those drums and add extra percussion which really enhance the music, but his back-up vocals are a great addition to the group.
And let’s not forget Hal Vorphal’s steady bass playing. His mellow presence grounds the band, but his thundering bass, lifts the group to new heights. Didn’t think that was possible? Well, you obviously don’t know what you’re missing.
Saturday night’s show started off with “Lucille,” a song I had never heard them play before. The opening choice immediately brought the audience into their low-down, good-time, Southern vibe. We were instantly treated to their style of Southern Rock-awesomeness. This song actually stuck with me as one of my favorite songs they performed that night:
I was pleased to see a new member to Uncle Lucius this time around: keyboardist and accordionist, Jon Grossman. Grossman (the only member not from Texas, yet instead from Kentucky) gives an electric and wild show on the keys and his accordion playing is a unique addition as well. I even got a video of him singing a tune, and his twangy voice fits in just fine with the sound of the band.
The few faithful fans that were in attendance that evening (myself, and two men I met who had previously seen them play in Colorado) were treated to some of Uncle Lucius’ more popular hits, such as “Everybody Got Soul”. This is honestly one of my favorite songs of theirs, and felt lucky to be one of the few who could actually sing along.
Another highlight of the night was one of the last songs. Again, this piece was something I’d never heard the band play, yet it was a huge hit as there were many people dancing to it. This piece was definitely the most unique song played that night. It combined Uncle Lucius’ typical southern rock with an unexpected and pleasant surprise of funk! I am personally a fan of all funk and I don’t think I had ever heard it combined with a southern twang, so this new combination was really fun! It also allowed for some crazy dancing (which I’m sad I didn’t capture on video). Here’s a video however of the song being done on a different occasion:
All in all, the concert was a rompin’ and swingin’ time had by all. The band kept the audience (probably mainly new fans) on their feet, and cheering for more. After two sets and over two hours of music and fun, it seemed like the night was just getting started. Uncle Lucius definitely rocked the house, something they were actually surprised with. The band noted that their concert in New York City, just the night before was not nearly as raucous as their time in D.C. was turning out to be. That’s right- us Washington folk may only be just south of the Mason Dixon line, but we’ll sure act like true Southerners if given the chance.
As I was leaving Hill Country, I spotted Hal outside smoking a cigarette and stopped to say hi. He was very nice, and had I not been so tired and probably awkward, I’m sure our conversation would have been better. But either way, he was glad to hear of my raving compliments and I assured him that like the first time I saw his band, there would be another positive review to come. So thanks for an awesome show guys!