With all the hoopla over The Black Keys’ outstanding new album, El Camino, 2012 will surely be the year of similarly-minded blues-rock group Bailiff. It’s a mystery to me why this quartet(sometimes quartet anyways…) isn’t on the lips of every rock fan, but it’s surely just a matter of time.
The two regular members Josh Siegel, Ren Matthew and their additional musicians (they have rotated the rest of the group quite often) have released their debut album, “Red Balloon” and they’re one of the best kept secrets in the business.
Not entirely convinced? Check out the absolutely tremendous video of the band bringing the blues- howl of “Emptied Out” to life during their HearYa session (in late 2011):
Extracts from the bio off their Facebook page:
Bailiff the band is just starting out, which is a lucky thing for all of us, because it means we get to watch something real cool right from the launch. The band is new, but the musicians have been around for years. They’re all real sharp players, working the tension between restraint and release. Josh’s melodies are super efficient, delivered deadpan against a guitar that’s saying as much as the lyrics are. The drums—well, that’s my instrument. Ren’s drums are fucking great, pulled so far back that you might not recognize how much technique and taste are informing the part. And the bass is just plain dangerous. They’re tight enough that you’d think they’ve been on tour together. There you are. Not much else to say about a band at this stage, I reckon, except: Get involved now, because you’ll be seeing their name around.
A fun and different version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the dark”:
The band is described as blues and rock (and sometimes blues-rock, as I did above) when trying to explain what they sound like. They’ve described themselves as progressive blues, and while that may be a better description, it doesn’t paint the complete picture. They are “more”. I can hear elements of The Black Keys and The Barr Brothers in their music. They are very accomplished musicians and sometimes they come off with a bit of jam-band sensibility, but only the best bits from the jam-bands, the great musical ability and their way of connecting with their audience.
Another video from the Hearya session in december 2011, Eventually:
Stream of their debut, Red Balloon:
Head over to Hear Ya and download (for free!) the whole session and watch other videos from that Bailiff HearYa session.