The Colors of Cavalier Rose
In an era of Lady Gaga worship and Bieber fever, a band like Cavalier Rose feels like a cold martini in a crowded, 1960’s jazz club. The Brooklyn-based quartet, which formed roughly two winters ago before self-releasing their Primary Colors EP in May of 2009, brings to the music scene an indefinable style and a genre-bending sound that could only be compared to a Jack White side project—if you can compare it to anything at all.
Although the band draws from folk, jazz, hip-hop and blues, among other styles, and looks to everything from Neil Young and the Fleet Foxes to the Wu Tang Clan, Chopin and Cyndi Lauper for inspiration, it “definitely comes from a rock and roll place.” According to guitarist Garrett Drinon, what brings the band together is a mentality that is not concerned with “whether people will accept it as a legit form of a specific genre of music.”“To me, rock is a mentality or attitude, not a specific sound,” Drinon said. “Rock is a bastard child of other traditional forms of music and it’s the attitude of rock—the embellishment on tradition, the disregard for safety and the thirst for exploration—that has characterized the genre since Chuck Berry and Elvis, and has driven [artists] to draw on so many different influences.”
Leading the band on vocals is the badass Heather Christian, who could easily be pictured atop a piano in a hazy bar, taking puffs of a cigar between earnest lyrics. Growing up singing in a black gospel choir after being kicked out of her church for being “too loud” and not blending in, the Mississippi-raised Christian is a born performer.
“[Chase and I] saw Heather play at Rockwood Music Hall and our eyes lit up,” Drinon said of looking for a singer after playing music in various forms with bassist Chase McGowan since college. “The music she played was very different than what we were doing, but there seemed to be some kind of underlying connection in her music to ours, like a mentality.”
Unlike Drinon and McGowan, who are both self-taught guitar players and come from non-musical families, drummer Jesse Wallace grew up around music and has been playing drums since a young age. Adding to the band’s eclectic sound is Wallace’s background in everything from rock and jazz to salsa.
The band will be performing this Saturday, November 20, at the Bowery Ballroom. In an era where pitch correction can make recording artists, airbrushing can make models and reality TV can make anyone a star, Cavalier Rose boasts a no-bullshit show.
“Entertainment today is completely manufactured. Back before all this, you had to have real talent to catch people’s attention…like the magic was real back then,” Drinon said. “Hopefully if you come and see us, you see some magic, but whether you do or not, I can guarantee that we’re not bullshitting you.”
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
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Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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