Asheville, North Carolina (May 31, 2018) – As someone who loves a good storm, I’m going to assume that the hail storm I drove through on the way up the mountain to Asheville, NC was a sign of what was brewing inside The Grey Eagle for this evening’s show. I couldn’t have imagined the energy that I was about to witness through music. Whiskey Myers The Hurry Up and Wait Tour, with special guests, Yellow Feather, was definitely one for the books.
I watched as fans gathered in anticipation waiting for the doors to open. Standing inside there was chatter all around as people expressed their love for the group’s and how they have followed them from show to show. As 9 pm neared, the lights dimmed, and the night of music began.
Yellow Feather is an Alternative – Americana country group, with a home base in Asheville, NC, the band didn’t waste any time getting the crowd going with their opening song, “Swallow You Down“. In support of their freshman album, All Gold, the group’s setlist contained songs primarily from their November 2017 release. With a mix of vocal overlays from frontman and guitarist, Hunter Begley, alongside vocalist, Casey Kristofferson, (daughter of the legendary Kris Kristofferson), the group blended its unique sound, with the help of Charles Willis on dobro/slide guitar, Muddy Wells on lead guitar, Clay Miller playing bass, Wayne Redden on drums, and Jim Aaron being the most enthusiastic harmonica player I’ve ever seen! Songs like “Blood & Bones“, “Couch Farm“, and “Lucille“, seemed to be some crowd favorites. “Cardinal Rose” is a song that stood out to me, showcasing the solidarity of the band’s tightness as a group, but the vulnerability in the content of the songs. Closing out their set with “Lost All Direction“, the group left the stage and the room filled with applause.
During set change, I watched and listened as fans, some of whom had driven hours from out of state, were taking guesses at which songs Whiskey Myers would play tonight. Having been a long time fan of the group, this was my first time actually seeing them live. Oh man, was I in for a treat! At the risk of sounding redundant, it’s a shame that group’s like Whiskey Myers, Cody Jinks, Sunny Sweeney, Ward Davis and others just don’t get the mainstream attention they deserve. Artists who represent realness in their music and songs that connect with people on personal levels, instead of the commercial-generated, over-produced stuff that fills the airwaves. These groups get back to the roots of what music is about and have worked liked crazy to build a fanbase that is loyal and proves it with sold-out shows like tonight.
With a setlist spanning the groups three album releases, Firewater (2011), Early Morning Shakes (2014), and Mud (2016), the band hit the stage like a raging bull straight out of their home state of Texas, right into the title tracks of their latest two releases; followed up by the Brent Cobb pinned tune “Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd“.
Frontman Cody Cannon has a powerful voice that is captivating and demanding of your attention. From the gritty, rocking, upbeat tunes, to the more delicate songs like “Broken Window Serenade“, and “Virginia“, Cody just takes you on an amazing journey of raw emotion, up and down the spectrum of music, with the backing of the band. So much conviction mixed with genuine fun on stage from Cody Tate (guitar), John Jeffers (guitar), Jeff Hogg (drums), Jamey Gleaves (bass) and Tony Kent (percussion, cowbell). This band is so solid, with each member carefully holding their own position within the group, yet still having moments to shine throughout the array of compositions.
Song after song the band turned out fan faves, “Headstone“, “Deep Down in the South“, “Ballad of a Southern Man“, with the crowd singing along; Cody stepping away from the mic at times as the crowd sang out above him. “Frogman“, a song co-written by Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, is one of those down and dirty, nasty, southern songs that just gets at you with the guitar riffs and pounding drums. Guitarist Cody Tate took over the lead vocals on the song “Different Mold“, with its melodic grooves and solo breaks.
A nice surprise for the evening was when drummer Jay Tooke of the band The Steelwoods joined the band on stage during an extended version of “On the River” that was filled with some laughs through some impromptu jamming. One of the craziest and funniest moments of the night was when percussionist Tony Kent stepped out front during “Home” for one of the most entertaining cowbell solos ever; one that would make Christopher Walken blush. It was an unexpected moment for me being my first Whiskey show, but definitely something many others were looking forward to.
Despite a little technical glitch with the keys not working, the band still managed to pull off an amazing version of “Stone“, which in my opinion, is probably one of the deepest, personal lyric content songs the group has. So many great songs from this group though you can’t just pick one to be a favorite. Closing out the night with a rousing rendition of The Rolling Stones classic “Jumping Jack Flash“, Whiskey Myers left no one dissatisfied in their performance. The only bad thing about the night was that it had come to an end.
I’m not quite sure I’ve even come close to describing in words how the night really was. A room full of people who seemed more like a family having seen each other at multiple shows, embracing the free spirit of the evening – it was truly great. I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t seen Whiskey Myers live to do so soon. This band has something for everyone, from their eclectic range of original songs to just the good-time vibe they have on stage. You will not regret it.