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L.A. Beat

Coal Creek Boys and Willhorse play contrasting sets

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The Coal Creek Boys and Willhorse provided a beautiful contrast of styles, Dec. 20 at the Slice.Willhorse playing an upbeat set of rock complete with cowbell. Photo By Richard Amery
A surprisingly good sized crowd came out on the Thursday before Christmas to hear some rock and roll and country music.
 It was great to hear part of the Coal Creek Boys’ set as I haven’t heard them for a while. Their set  included a lot of new music and I think a Steve Earle cover to end the show.

 They included crowd favourites from their debut CD “Hard At It In Old Town” including “Mamma Please” and an extended jam on “Genie (Lose the Bottle)” which was nicely done.

I liked some of the newer songs including a slower number about immigrants moving to Alberta during the Great Depression, and  a couple others I didn’t catch the names of.

They featured some excellent guitar work from frontman John Paul Smith some excellent vocal harmonies and rhythm from rhythm guitarist Evan Herbst and bassist Dino Scavo while drummer Ryan Mildenberger provided an unstoppable beat, which got quite a few toes tapping.
I was looking forward to Golden based “southern rock” band Willhorse and was not disappointed. When I hear a band is  a southern rock band, I expect massive Govt. Mule sized riffs, harmonized guitar solos a la the Allman Brothers and Lynard Skynard  or a just about a perfect blend of country, blues, rock and bluegrass like either the Charlie Daniels Band or the Outlaws.

 There wasn’t a lot of any of those in their set.

 However they played a very capable and supremely enjoyable set of upbeat, catchy rock along the lines of the Goo Goo Dolls, Soul Asylum with just a touch of Arizona fried ’90s style country rock like the Refreshments.The Coal Creek boys returned to the Slice, Dec. 20. Photo by Richard Amery
There were a few harmonized guitar solos, lots of catchy melodies and lots more. They even had more cowbell courtesy of “Cowbell Dave” who played cowbell and tambourine for the first couple songs, then left the stage for a spell before returning near the end of the show. And how can you not like a band with a cowbell player in it.

 They began their set with a couple of the strongest songs off their debut, self titled CD including “Tempered Hearts” and the huge highlight “Easy Girl.”

They clustered their more mellower, acoustic based numbers, which made the set drag a little, but brought it back with several more upbeat numbers including an exuberant version of  “ Stoke it Up” added a My Morning Jacket cover and they got the crowd clapping and tapping their toes with their song “Love Don’t Leave Me.”

 They sang some excellent vocal harmonies and played catchy guitar and grinned throughout their set.

“Little Things,” was the most southern rock song of the set which they wound down their show with before playing an extended version of “Never Going to Leave You,” the last track off their CD, which had the crowd clapping along.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 December 2012 13:36 )  
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