Author: Chip Midnight

Look Who’s Talking: Sam Lewis (Rumba Cafe, October 12)

Photo by Ryan Musick Though rooted in Americana music, the introduction of keys, organ and horns lend a soulful and bluesy touch to Sam Lewis’s music. The Nashville-by-way-of-Knoxville songwriter has been honing his craft professionally since 2012’s self-titled album and has developed working friendships with the likes of Chris Stapleton who has compared Lewis to Townes Van Zant – not a bad endorsement if you can get it. This year’s Loversity found Lewis setting aside the acoustic in favor of an electric guitar which, while not straying too far from the successful formula, gives the music a little more...

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Sunday: The Beths at Rumba

Photo by Mason Fairey Attention Van Dale, you should have been on this bill! New Zealand’s The Beths – like Columbus’s own Van Dale – sound like a band that would have been cover material for Alternative Press magazine in 1994; super-catchy guitars with a bouncy rhythm section laying down toe-tapping beats. The riff on the title track, “Future Me Hates Me”, sounds SO familiar and SO damn good when blended with sweet Kiwi-accented vocals by Elizabeth Stokes. While rooted in a ’90s aesthetic, The Beths are a contemporary band whose peers include Charly Bliss, Alvvays, and Best Coast...

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Look Who’s Talking: ISLAND

Photo by Melanie Tjoeng Radio-friendly bands don’t necessarily need to rely on radio support in this era where Spotify and YouTube fulfill the on-demand access to music that listeners crave. That’s not to say that young UK band ISLAND shouldn’t be in heavy rotation locally on CD102.5 or nationally on Sirius XM’s Alt-Nation channel, but just a few weeks into the band’s first U.S. tour, they are finding fans singing along to every word of every song from ‘Feels Like Air’ thanks to the power of Spotify. ISLAND’s anthemic rock sound has been influenced by artists the individual band...

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Look Who’s Talking: Gary Numan

The influence Gary Numan has had on electronic music can’t be overstated – his early work with Tubeway Army (“Are Friends Electric”) and as a solo artist (“Cars”) inspired artists ranging from Trent Reznor to Bloc Party, the Foo Fighters to Interpol, Marilyn Manson to the Smashing Pumpkins. Though Numan may have been overshadowed by those he’s influenced, he hasn’t taken a break, having released over 20 albums in the last 40 years! He’d be forgiven if he was just phoning it in but that’s not the case – 2013’s Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) and 2017’s Savage (Songs...

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Look Who’s Talking: Israel Nash

Photo by: Kris Wixom Perhaps it’ll be Israel Nash’s fifth album, Lifted, that finally earns the singer/songwriter a fan base in America. To date, Nash has made a bigger splash in Europe than he has in his home country. His 2009 debut, New York Town, (released under his full name, Israel Nash Gripka) was released by the Dutch label Continental Records Services and much of his early touring experience took place on the other side of the pond. After a string of folk-inspired Americana albums, the singer dropped his last name (Gripka) and evolved his songwriting, ratcheting up the...

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