Artist of the Month

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November 2015
The Old No. 5s
The Old No. 5s’ second album, Steam, is first and foremost a blues record. But it shouldn't be pigeonholed. A self-proclaimed rock/roots trio, members Brock Alexander (guitar/lead vocals), Derek Tucker (bass/vocals), and Aaron Thomas (percussion/vocals) prove they can play the blues with the best of them, but also have the chops to bust out some serious soul, bring the funk, or simply construct a nice power pop song.
The majority of the 11 tracks are fairly straightforward blues rockers, beginning with the album's first song, “Going Nowhere.” A perfect appetizer, it gives listeners a taste of what can be heard throughout the album: solid vocals, nimble guitar, and one of the best rhythm sections you'll find on a local or national release this year. There is an undeniable Stevie Ray Vaughan influence on this and several of the other true blues tunes, including “Starting to Show,” “Easy,” and the harder rocking “Hill Country.” While few guitarists can match his licks, Alexander certainly dials in Vaughan's tone, and has plenty of salty riffs himself.
Alexander's vocal style varies. On “Easy” he is confident and powerful, channeling a cocky Jimi Hendrix. He shows off a deep soul sound during “Keep Lovin' Me Baby.” On “Little Man,” a jazzier number, he is a bit more transparent and vulnerable, much like a young John Mayer. While he is very capable at each, I couldn't help wondering which one is Alexander’s real voice.
The standout track on Steam has to be “Barn Party.” A tightly wound ball of energy, it combines ferocious slide guitar (sounding very similar in this case to a pedal steel), brilliant bass, and a shuffling beat to create foot-stomping fun. Reminiscent of Robert Randolph and the Family Band, it starts uptempo and only gets faster, ending at a blistering pace. Be sure to have your air instruments handy for this one.
The Old No. 5s display a more unique style on the album's final track, “Just the Way I Am.” While remaining true to the band's bluesy vibe, the song has a catchy pop sensibility—with an impressive jam in the middle—and should appeal to a wide audience. The trio seems to find their own identity here, something I hope to hear more of on future recordings. 
Steam is filled with truly fantastic music that taps into several genres. The songwriting and execution is top-notch. The expertise and use of each instrument, tempo changes, and drawn-out solos make it one of the most enjoyable local albums I've heard in some time. As the band continues to mature and distinguish itself, The Old No. 5s should become a force to be reckoned with—both locally and beyond.

--Brad Scott 

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Deli Best of KC Area 2012 for Emerging Artists - Submission Results!

Deli Best of KC Area 2012 for Emerging Artists - Submission Results!

We've tallied the results for the Open Submissions stage of our KC Area Year End Poll for Emerging Artists. All of the submissions were ranked by Deli Editors from other scenes, and the list of acts that have advanced to our Readers’/Fans’ Poll phase are below. We will also be releasing the list of nominees chosen by our local "scene expert" jurors very soon. 

Thanks to all of the talented artists who submitted their music to us. We hope to have a larger pool of entries next year!

Total submissions from the KC area scene: 32

Qualified to the final phase of the Best of Kansas City Poll:

1. Man Bear – 7.8 (out of 10)
2. We Are Voices – 7.5
3. Gentleman Savage – 7.5
4. Gemini Revolution – 7.3
5. The Elders – 7.3
6. Making Movies – 7.2
7. Attic Wolves – 7.2

Honorable Mentions: Hipshot Killer, The Empty Spaces, Dream Wolf, Radkey, Dollar Fox

Jurors: Dawn Reed (Deli Washington DC), Gracie Gutman (Deli SF), Paolo De Gregorio (Deli NYC).  

The Deli Staff

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