August Chronicles: Week Two
MilkBoy Philly One Year Anniversary
Kalob Griffin Band, Pete Donnelly, Up the Chain
MilkBoy Philly on Chestnut Street is a model club if you ask me: cool bistro/bar downstairs and great music room upstairs. I was glad to be there to celebrate their one-year anniversary and wish them continued success. Even better was seeing Kalob Griffin Band headline there again. The supporting acts sounded good too but KGB just packed this place and made it a party.
KGB calls themselves a Philly band but I don’t get it. Drummer Eric Lawry is from Pittsburgh and Kalob himself hails from Clarion. They all met and formed the band in State College. I think of them as a full-PA band and one of the best! It won’t be long until they are a national act so catch them in a small venue while you can. On this night, fans had driven in from all over the state including those notorious Norristown boys. When you meet them at a show, you’ll know who they are!
The band rocks with a sound all its own, mainly due to Kalob’s unique voice and the masterful keyboard work of John Hildenbrand. Robert Dwyer runs constant, stylish riffs on guitar and mandolin. Jonathan Davenport holds it all together on upright and electric bass. Eric is an animated drummer and harmonizer. Somehow, it’s all familiar like cousins you only see every few years but still find a way to crush on or fight with.
The songs are funny, genuine, heartfelt narratives; they are drinking songs, heartbreak songs, revealing natural and unnatural disasters. “Honeymooners” is charming and swooning. “Take Me River” calls up adventure and mystery. “Whiskey My Love” makes the drinks and dancers fly. “American Dream” paints landscapes at once endearing and disheartening yet somehow keeps you optimistic. You meet a lot of characters in these very literate songs. Some are underdogs you root for. Some are under-handed and you can’t look away. One thing I’ve noticed. Even when KGB debuts a song, the audience seems to know it. The connection between band and fans is unshakeable from the minute the first chord is struck.
This link will take you to “Take Me River” from the MilkBoy Philly show 8/16/12. It will take you away.