Classifying themselves as "Adult-Alternative-Country-Funk-N-BluesRock!!", Dulcet Road isn't kidding. I've seen quite a few bands that consider their music to be a slurry of multiple genres, but most can eventually be pinned down to one or another. In this case, Dulcet Road really does ride the line between alternative, country and blues rock.. and that turns out to be a Good Thing because they can bring in such a varied audience.
So.. The Elbo Room on Saturday, January 17th, 2009. Turns out it's a pretty damn good spot for a local show - packs in a fair amount of people, and the bands perform on a stage only slightly raised from the ground, which fosters a sense of intimacy you can't find in many other venues. Going on a little after midnight, everyone at The Elbo Room (including the band) was feeling good and buzzed and ready for a rock show.
Dulcet Road didn't disappoint. Art Croyle (Guitar and Lead Vocals) and Bryon Landerman (Drums and Vocals) have obviously played together for quite a while now, as the chemistry between the two musicians was palpable. Andy Seagren (Bass and Vocals) and new addition Dan Landerman (Guitar and Vocals) add depth to the band, not to mention their vocal talents. It's always impressive when all the members of a band have a talent for vocal lines and harmonies - Dulcet Road is able to use these talents to create a fuller, wider sound that is usually only found in bands that have been touring for many years.
"Borrowed Time" laid itself out on the table like a rockabilly classic, bending this way and that with the full power of the drums driving the song towards the inevitable choruses and the simple chord changes a perfect balance to aggressive, driving guitar solos.
"Not Who I Am" was a big hit with the crowd - starting out with a big, dirty blues riff and jumping right into a memorable verse sung with a good amount of grit by Art Croyle, it's a bit angry and introspective but hey, sometimes these things need to be said - and if there is a bit of personal truth in the song it only serves to increase its value to the listener.
"Ghost Town" channels John Mellencamp in a story about a small town that is slowly losing its independent stores and businesses to larger chains and lower prices. A well-structured, well-written song that could easily be a folk or country hit on the radio (though I'd rather listen to these guys play it).
Dulcet Road is a band just getting its footing in the local Chicago scene, but it's obvious to anyone with ears that the musicians making up the band have quite a few years of experience between them. With all of the new bands coming out these days trying to be carbon copies of each other, it's refreshing to see a group of guys reaching into the past to create a new fusion of styles. Looking forward to the next show.