Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Henry Clay People and The Dig play to a small crowd Local 506

The Henry Clay People
Photo by Justin Weber
"We may not have the technique down for this song, but we’ve got the feeling."

That’s what lead singer Andy Siara of The Henry Clay People said to the audience of less than 30 at Local 506 Wednesday night right before the band ripped into a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s "Born to Run" to end the night. It’s a statement that applies to the band as a whole.

That blue collar feeling is there, but the songwriting is rough around the edges. It’s easy to hear why the band gets compared to The Hold Steady and Titus Andronicus, but unlike them The Henry Clay People don’t have any tunes that will blow you away. Most of what they played came from their new album Somewhere on the Golden Coast.

Despite the nearly empty venue, the band was in good spirits and kinda goofy on stage. Guitarist Joey Siara was all over the place head butting his fellow band members and playing cymbal with his foot. The crowd was at it’s liveliest during a break when Andy went to find a capo for his guitar and the band played Tom Petty’s "Free Fallin'" by request. They did everything they could to bring the energy level up, but their just wasn’t enough people in the room.

The show opened with New York City rock group The Dig. They have some decent vocal melody lines, but they were drowned out most of the time by the muddy (and mostly dull) bass and guitar parts. The one song that came across really well was "Shadow," but the rest were just too muddled to enjoy.

The band did have some spunk, particularly bassist Emile Mosseri and keyboardist Erick Eiser. Eiser really laid into the keys. The Dig and Henry Clay People both have good stage presence and it'd be nice to see what they could do with a full venue.

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