Friday night at the EARL Atlanta was treated to one of the best bands out there today. With a plethora of options at venues all over town I find it hard to believe there were any shows better than the performance delivered by Great Peacock.
The Nashville band continues to evolve from the first time their sweet music passed through my ears. Built around the vocal harmonies of Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd, these dudes sing together as if they are in each other’s heads and know what the other is going to do. Friday night at the EARL they were spot on as Great Peacock rolled through tunes like “Take Me To The Mountain”, “Family Home” and “Gulf Dreams”. They introduced some new material that was incredible and offered a glimpse into their future awesomeness and when they played “Desert Lark” the crowd was signing along.
As good as Great Peacock has been from the beginning of their existence they keep getting better and I think the addition of Clay Houle has pushed them to the next level. Houle’s guitar playing is bad ass and he knows how to stay in the background or step up and take control of a song. His guitar prowess was on full display at the EARL as he effortlessly coaxed sounds from his instrument many wish they could replicate. With Ben Cunningham and Nick Recio laying down the rhythms, Houle wowing on guitar and Nelson’s & Blount’s soulful vocals Great Peacock gave the folks at the EARL their money’s worth. If they were not fans before entering the door they damn sure were on their way out.
Atlanta’s Cute Boots occupied the stage before Great Peacock closed out the night. This was the second time I have seen them live and once again I enjoyed what I saw/heard. Led by the energetic vocals and piano playing of Gus Fernandez the quartet wraps pop melodies around quirky lyrics flavored with a hint of rock. While Mason Turner and Jay Howell kept the band on track, it was the complimenting battle between Charlie Mills’ guitar riffs and Fernandez’s piano that made things interesting. As they played tunes from their debut album and previous singles they had folks singing along and dancing at the EARL. The piano is a bold statement and they are one of the few that pull it off without sounding like a Billy Joel or Elton John copycat.
Johnny Delaware opened the evening with a short set heavy on guitars and loaded with soulful keyboards. It was Delaware’s first show in Atlanta and while many people hadn’t showed up yet but the ones already there was treated to an entertaining set of tunes.
When the evening ended people were not ready to go home. The crowd demanded more from Great Peacock but yet they were foiled by the dreaded house music. While the call for more was not answered what they did get to hear was incredible. Once again Great Peacock continues to outdo themselves, Cute Boots showed that good new music is out there waiting to be listened to and Johnny Delaware showed that the singer/songwriter is alive and well. Anytime Great Peacock is playing near you go see them, and Atlanta get out and support local bands like Cute Boots, there are a ton of them out there.