Episode 116: The Walcotts
Air date: 8.13.2014
American roots music is currently having a Renaissance of sorts, with bands across the country and across the pond ditching their Les Pauls and Marshall half stacks in favor of acoustic instruments, beards and bowler hats. There are a lot of ways to bring a little bit of yesterday to the new millennium when it comes to music, and Los Angeles’ The Walcotts have staked their claim on a rustic mixture of roadhouse blues, Memphis soul, swampy delta jazz and underground Nashville twang. And all of this sounds as if it has been stirred together by a spoon lifted from the kitchen of The Big Pink - the Hudson Valley house where Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson hung out with Bob Dylan and wrote the bulk of The Band’s debut album. Singer and guitarist Tom Cusimano is the master of ceremonies, and the large band he leads isn’t limited in the least to folk instrumentation; there are Telecasters and tube amps, piano and Hammond organ, trumpet, trombone, pedal steel guitar, fiddle and a healthy helping of female vocals. But it’s the bass and drums that keeps things in The Walcotts grooving and lively, and it’s this New Orleans-style focus on booty-shaking rhythms that helps them avoid the more sullen territory mined by some Americana bands. The Walcotts are positively rollicking, and with all the buzz they’ve generated in a short amount of time, it likely won’t be long before they’re rollicking in front of bigger and bigger crowds.