Rival Sons, Unrivaled Love

by - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

How many times in your life you can claim you've experienced the magic or true art unfurling in front of your eyes? More than once and you can call yourself blessed. How many of those times you felt a special connection with the artist(s) after? The reason why I'm asking all those rhetorical questions is one. I'm in love

My first introduction to Rival Sons was a complete coincidence. I picked up a CD from a second hand store titled as Bone Rattling Blues, thinking I should give it a try. I come across Joe Bonamassa's "Dirt in my Pocket" and I feel the urge to listen to more of his songs, so I turn to Youtube. And there they were, in the list of suggested videos, with their song "Keep on Swinging". Naturally curious and in a quest to find good music, I clicked. And listened. And really, REALLY liked what I was listening to. But that's not when I fell in love.

You see, I like researching a bit before I delve into the music and allow my emotions to overwhelm me. My interest was piqued with this band that reminded me of all the classical monsters my mum had shown to me when I was a teenager and was making my first hesitant steps into the world of rock. I wanted to know more. Most important of all, I wanted to know why. Why I felt this band in particular was something special. 

Throughout my research I read quite a few interviews, watched videos and got to like them more, but there was still a piece of the puzzle missing. Then, out of the blue, a friend called me to ask if I know who they are because she happened to have guest tickets for their show and thought I would enjoyed joining her. Of course I said yes. 
I've mentioned it before, for me a singer/band isn't worth my time if they can't perform live as good as they do when recording an album. You can imagine I had high expectations of the night, but what I experienced was way beyond what I was prepared to witness.

Let me tell you a short story here. There's only one band that has made such a massive impact in my life, the Doors. I first listened to them when I was thirteen, facing a rough adolescence. I won't elaborate on it, but their lyrics, uniqueness and out of the norm musical existence helped me cope with the problems I was facing. I learned through Morrison's poems to express myself, to write my own. I found my voice. For that I will forever love them. 

I'm only sharing this because I hadn't felt such a connection with a band ever since, at least not on this very personal level. But when I saw Jay Buchanan's performance on stage that night, that adolescent girl resurfaced. She wanted to claim her right to voice her thoughts and feelings again. Why then? Because in front of my eyes I didn't have just another singer/actor/plain performer, I had an artist. And the similarities don't end here. 
If it wasn't for Ray Manzarek's expertise and vision the Doors wouldn't have made it big as they did. Well, the Ray of this band in none else but its founder, Scott Holiday, only his case is loaded with guitars and persona instead of keyboards. The man behind the drum set is the glue that keeps the group solid. His name is Mike Miley and admittedly he isn't just a hunk (word other women were using when talking about him that night), he's a tremendously talented drummer as well, like John Densmore was. Last but not least comes Dave Beste, the bassist and latest addition to the group (after previous bassist Robin Everhart left), who looks a lot like the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and has managed to put his own personal stamp to the band's sound, much like Robby Krieger did. 

I'm not saying here that Rival Sons are the new Doors or something, nor am I comparing their sound to any other legend of the 60's-70's era. It seems unfair to do so. All I do is #ShareTheSons and my new found love. May it be long and strong. Now close your eyes and travel with me.

Until next time,


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