Thursday, October 23, 2008
This past weekend I had the pleasure of checking out Boston’s own Hazard Adams. Originally a solo or duel guitar act, Hazard Adams has grown into a full band, and the sound and songs have in turn grown as well. Their musical style is hard to classify as they effectively mix a blend of folk, blues, country, and alternative rock into a sound that is all their own. Primary song writer Jesse Friedberg shows off a knack for writing catchy songs without falling too far into the pop territory, staying organic and true to his roots.
The band opened to a full audience at Bar 169 with “Tin Cup,” a blues influenced song of Friedberg’s. Guitarist Chris Perry adds great texture to the song with slide accompaniment that blends greatly with Jesse’s vocal melodies. The new inclusion of a rhythm section makes the song sound full and complete, but ultimately it’s Jesse’s songwriting that breaks and pops at all the right moments that draws you in. Clearly I'm not the only one that loves this song, as it was chosen to be in the major motion picture Senior Skip Day. With the audience pumped up, Hazard Adams dove into their next song, “Earth.” The ever talented Chris joins in on this song with another great texture, this time by way of mandolin. Hazard brings vocals and lyrics that are introspective and quirky, without sounding contrived or formulaic. On “Earth” the band delivers some great insight to life in a fun and upbeat folk-fused jangle pop sound.
The show mellowed down a bit for “Full Grown Man,” a thoughtful trip through growing up and living through all of life’s experiences. The crowd was equally excited to hear Hazard Adams break into a rocking and intense cover of The Kink’s hit song “Lola.” The crowd sang along as Jesse and company infused their own sound into the early 70’s radio staple. The band has been known to play several covers ranging from various influences including The Who, Daniel Johnston, and Eels. “Pete Townsend,” came next, Hazard’s ode to his idols. This song reflects the desire we all have to emulate our favorite musical stars, and the ultimate realization that you can only be yourself in the end. Jesse’s song writing is simple yet timeless, for music fans of all genres and ages. Next came the fast and frolicking “Hell Song.” This track has an outlaw country feel to it with an upbeat infectious jangle. I personally love this song as it contains a strong feel good vibe with accelerated vocal delivery from Jesse that conjures up images of a hoe-down (in a good way).
Hazard Adams closed out the set with the raucous break-up song, “I Don’t Want to Be Friends.” The lyricism and song writing make this one easy to understand, and highly relatable to anyone who’s ever gone through a rough break-up. “Why Did I Want You Again?” ended the concert with a slower melodic tune that slowly builds until it comes to an abrupt end, or so you think, as the band kicks back in with explosions of rock to make sure the show ends on a climax. The crowd loved the performance and were screaming for an encore. While the band was ready to please, much to the audience’s dismay, the venue would not allow it, and fans are left waiting for the next show for more of this unique and ultimately entertaining band.
Check out their Myspace page HERE to hear five of their songs, and check out news, bios, and pictures. If you enjoy what you hear, please show your support and add Hazard Adams as a friend to stay up-to-date on all the bands happenings.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 8:47 PM