|Michael Ford Jr. of The Apache Relay, 11/23/14, Club Cafe. All photos (c) PMR.|
Very good performance by The Apache Relay at a nearly sold out Club Cafe last night. Yet I still can't figure out what type of music they played. Rock for sure. Indie rock? Nah. Southern rock? Not really. Folk Rock? Kind of...
The band is made up of bass, guitar, drums, two keyboardists, and the lead singer, Michael Ford Jr., who trades off between electric and acoustic as the night progresses. On some songs one of the two keyboardists would play the fiddle, while the other contributes the occasional guitar. This varied instrumentation is used to create intricate, multi-layered harmonies that define an otherwise difficult to classify texture of sound. (Lead single “Katie Queen of Tennessee,” with its soaring violin, is as much Camera Obscura as it is Avett Brothers.)
Apache Relay has opened up for bands like Mumford and Sons, and it's no surprise why. Ford is a handsome bloke with a commanding stage presence – he has a great voice with a surprisingly dynamic range and is confident enough to carry a room.
So what is it? Pastoral Americana? Indie roots-pop?
Whatever it is, it's working. The band was originally slated to play Mr. Smalls but the show was moved to Club Cafe when ticket sales lagged. Don't be surprised if they sell out Smalls in the near future.
Here are some photos from the evening:
Don’t Leave Me Now
Sets Me Free
Power Hungry Animals
Good as Gold
Can’t Wake Up
Katie Queen of Tennessee
Valley of the Fevers
Watering Hole (acoustic)
-- B. Conway