It’s about 90 degrees in Philadelphia this evening and while it’s not too humid outside, the upstairs room at World Cafe Live is feeling a little sticky. It kind of sets the scene for The National Reserve though, a band from Brooklyn that opened the 17th annual NonCOMMvention with a set of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll straight from the steamy streets of the South.
Led by Sean Walsh, The National Reserve hit some classic kind of rock ‘n’ roll vibes right away with “Trouble in Mind” off of 2015’s Easy Does It album. Bluesy guitars and a screaming Nord organ tone got early spotlights, the blistering, playful solos proving to be a recurring highlight throughout the set. The quintet played its two newest tracks “Found Me a Woman” and “I’ll Go Blind” (released as singles in February but perhaps a preview of their forthcoming effort), the latter striking some Bruce Springsteen / Americana heartland chords with a more contemporary melody.
A cover of Ronnie Lane’s “Roll on Babe” offered an interlude of sorts before Walsh and his bandmates went back to their rock ‘n’ ways for “California.” One of their oldest numbers, their familiarity with the song became evident as the band came out of an organ-drum showdown and launched into a jam that wound through a minute or two of sonic stretching and crescendoing, proving that they’re much more than your average southern-style rockers.
Trouble in Mind
Found Me a Woman
I’ll Go Blind
Roll on Babe (Ronnie Lane cover)
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