Episode 192: Davey and The Midnights
Air date: 10.4.2017
Davey and the Midnights are a band. Sure, Davey Allen’s name is featured front and center - and for good reason. His tight vibrato tenor and accessible songs are the focal point of the ensemble. But the Midnights are a band like Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers or Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band. Something special happens when they get together and settle into a groove. And although their music is billed as a sort of countrified rock, there certainly is a pocket to what they do. Once they get going, the band sits somewhere in the middle ground between the Grateful Dead and Little Feat, with a bit of traditional west coast country mixed in. Allen strums the acoustic guitar while he sings, guitarist Gregg Cahill’s Telecaster picking owes more than a casual nod to Jerry Garcia without wandering off on extensive and meandering improvisational explorations, Brandon Conway’s pedal steel employs a bit of the shimmery Leslie rotating speaker effect - making his instrument sound akin to a Hammond B3 organ at times, Corey Dawson’s loping bass lines anchor the band and explores spaces for stepping out with an appropriate lick, and Allen’s childhood friend Mike “Mambo” Sanson’s snappy work on the drum kit provides an edgy rock and roll spark that keeps everything moving. These young players are fine instrumentalists, and the sum of their talented parts really does make a synergistic whole. Davey and the Midnights haven’t yet released their debut album, but they sound as if they’re long past their sophomore jinx. It doesn’t hurt that Allen’s day job is playing keyboards for the legendary Eric Burdon of the Animals. Allen obviously is learning from one of the best and carrying the torch with style and aplomb.