by: Laura Feeney

Despite their separate venues, Rusted Root and The Record Company brought similar enthusiasm and style to their performances on Friday night at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. These shows were not originally on my to-see list, but enthusiastic reviews persuaded me to take a chance. I soon found myself being swept up in lively, dancing crowds and losing track of time.

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The Record Company’s Chris Vos (guitar) and Marc Cazorla (drums) [Photo: Scott Greer]

The Record Company is a newly formed modern blues-rock band from Los Angeles. The opening number set the tone for their performance: upbeat, energetic, and soulful. Frontman Chris Vos proceeded to introduce the band’s style as good time music and encouraged the audience to have fun. Their classic blues sound was highlighted through Vos’ raw vocals, soulful lyrics, and funky slide guitar solos. Transitions between songs were filled with singing or storytelling about the band’s connection to blues music.

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Rusted Root [Photo: Scott Greer]

After hearing a great word-of-mouth review, I decided to check out the second half of Rusted Root’s set on Friday night at the Barracks. This Pittsburgh-based group is known for their fun mix of rock and world music that had the audience moving when I arrived. The use of the penny whistle and hand-held percussive instruments brought depth into their music, and lead singer Michael Glabicki’s vocals were fantastic.

Their most popular song, ‘Send me on my way’ (from the Enterprise rent-a-car commercial) brought a new enthusiasm forward as the crowds sang along. The audience was also treated to the title song ‘The Movement’ from the band’s upcoming release, which featured a heavy drum-line and melancholy harmonies. The night ended on a high note as they played an exciting jam session featuring riffs from previous songs.

For more photos from the performances, check out the slideshow: