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September 2014
Katy Guillen & the Girls
"Katy Guillen & the Girls
"
mp3
Normally when I discover a band for the first time, I listen to their album first, then go see them live. In the case of Katy Guillen & The Girls’ new release, the situation's been reversed. I saw them live a couple of times before the album was released, so I was interested to hear if the record was going to capture the ferocity of their live performances. I have to confess that my hearing is not in the best of shape, and, due to a poor sound mix at what shall be an unnamed Lawrence venue, I never got to hear the words or even the melodies properly live at the most recent concert I attended. But upon hearing the self-titled LP, it’s nice to hear that Guillen can write literate lyrics to these songs I've heard played out.
 
The album opener, "Don't Get Bitter," hearkens back to the sound and feel of the Beatles' "Taxman," with Claire Adams' bass introducing the song. It's short, catchy, and lasts exactly as long as it should. If there were a single release off this album, this would be it.
 
This record is no-frills. It's the band pretty much as you hear them live, with the mix capturing a live in-studio sound. What strikes me listening to this record is that Katy and the Girls are not strictly a blues band. There's certainly an infusion of the blues in what they do, but, to my ears, they hearken back to some of the late ‘60s-early ‘70s hard rock bands like Mountain and Free, but with better lyrics and songs. I also hear some White Stripes in there somewhere. The melodies and harmonies are accentuated and they help blend with the powerful playing.
 
Katy Guillen, Claire Adams, and Stephanie Williams fill up a lot of space in these songs. It's obvious they are all very well in sync and have that great intuitive blend that comes from playing lots of live gigs together. I also like the changes in some of the songs, which go in directions you don't expect, like "Woke Up In Spain," which switches tempo adroitly.
 
The absolute masterpiece of this album is the last song, “Earth Angel.” It's the longest tune on the album, but it doesn't feel long. It starts out with Guillen’s dirty-sounding guitar intro, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," and builds in intensity as it moves along. Guillen takes one hell of a solo during this song. It's obvious from hearing this record that she is an excellent guitarist but never overplays during the songs. But when the song calls for a lengthy solo, like "Earth Angel," sparks fly. The rest of the band is equally as adept. Adams’ bass lines are nimble and fit right in place with Williams’ active drum work. It's a pleasure to hear a band that obviously loves to play together rolling through these songs. The album’s producer (Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Soundlab) captures the clarity of the music as well as the power of a live performance.
 

--Barry Lee

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Artists on Trial: Josh Colburn of Little Rosco

Artists on Trial: Josh Colburn of Little Rosco

Little Rosco is one of the newest bands to emerge in what continues to be a growing Kansas City music scene. Though the four-piece rock group only has a couple shows under its belt, it shows promise and willingness to become a force in the musical community. Today, we chat a bit with frontman Josh Colburn.

The Deli: Gun to your head: one sentence to describe your music.  What is it?

Josh Colburn: You know the song that comes on the radio that makes you get a speeding ticket? Like that...

The Deli:  Let’s talk about your latest release or upcoming shows. What can we expect?
 
JC:  We're are playing a show at Czar Bar on Saturday, August 11 with some other great bands: The Chaotic Goods and The New Imperialism (Wichita). It should be a great show. I know I am ready to throw down and I am super pumped to see the other bands perform! We are just starting out, so for us every show is huge -- no matter how big or small.

The Deli:  What does “supporting local music” mean to you?

JC: Of course you can tell your friends about your favorite local bands, but will they actually take the time to go find and listen to them at home? It's better to take your friends and go to a show and then if you like it, support the band! Buy a t-shirt, CD, sticker, death metal coffee mug for mom, or whatever your fancy is. Getting involved in the local music community is a great way to help and easy to do! For example, one of our members writes concert reviews for a local radio station on a volunteer basis. It may not pay anything, but he gets to meet a lot of great musicians in KC and plug them through a popular medium. There really are lots of ways to help out and make sure the music you love gets out there and doesn't die on the vine. 
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

JC: There are a lot of great local bands in the KC area, so it's really hard to just name a few. Some favorites would be Cherokee Rock Rifle, The Atlantic, The Strive and We Are Voices.


The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
 
JC:  Well, Foo Fighters tops the list, I think for all of us. Also Jimmy Eat World, The Used, The Joy Formidable, Mutemath, Relient K and The Starting Line are all bands that have influenced us. On the other hand, some of the guys listen to bands that we don't emulate as well, such as the Alabama Shakes and Japandroids.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

JC: I don't know if I can speak for everyone, but my personal favorites would be Rockin New Years Eve in New York and the Metro in Chicago. Not lofty, I know. But ever since I was young I've loved the intimate setting of the Metro and the energy of New York. But when it comes down to it, I don't like to be too far removed from our fans during a show.
 
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
 
JC: Definitely on stage. I've never heard of "Studio Fright" and there's a reason. I love the rush and the energy you feel being connected to other people. It's incredible.

The Deli:
 A music-themed Mount Rushmore.  What four faces are you putting up there and why?

JC: Dave Grohl (do I need to explain?), Jimmy Page (again...), Frank Sinatra (there has to be at least one true gentleman up there) and Johnny Cash (again, I don't think that needs an explanation). These guys are legends or legends in the making. Their music and lives inspire musicians daily.
 
The Deli:  All right, give us the rundown.  Where all on this big crazy web can you be found? 

Twitter - @littleroscoband 
 
The Deli:  Always go out on a high note.  Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

JC: Go out and support local musicians. They're your friends or potential friends and they're working hard for you! Find music you love and don't ever let it die because, as Quincy Jones said, "What a harmonious world it would be if every single person shared a little bit of what they are good at doing." We like to think we are contributing to such a world, but we need everyone to join us!

Rock out with Josh and the rest of Little Rosco this Friday, August 10 at Club 906 in Liberty, or this Saturday, August 11 at Czar Bar. They'll be playing with The Chaotic Goods and The New Imperialism. Show starts at 9 pm.

--Michelle Bacon

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