From the first note of “The Man You Need,” the Plott Hounds were off and playing their own brand of southern rock-leaning country music, and the crowd loved it.
They were there celebrating the release of their debut full-length, Living Free, Saturday at the Cabooze.
Being it was a release party, the band's originals dominated their 17-song show. Luckily, they have a great arsenal of songs that allowed them to rock the night away. And the tone was pretty upbeat throughout the night, with songs such as the album's title track and “Sweet Lovin'” keeping the volume at 11. When it came to the slower selections, “This Ain't No Country Song” was definitely a highlight; frontman Noah Alexander put his Georgia drawl to good use and held out some notes near end that received well-earned praise from the crowd.
Other members got their chance to shine as well, especially keyboardist Zach Sershon who seemed to be in his own little “happy place” every time his fingers hit the keys. But the award for soldiering on had to go to Ansley McAllister who was wearing a black leg cast the whole show. Also, her voice was flawless when it came to lead vocals and harmonizing on songs like “Growing Young” and “You And Me.” Her higher register complimented Alexander's low drawl.
The only thing that that may have taken away from the show was Alexander's vocals. He's a great singer, but there were more than a few times where it was hard to make out the words he was singing. What the cause of that was remains a mystery. At first the thought was that maybe it had to do with how deep his drawl can get mixed with some under-enunciation of the lyrics he was singing, but then his voice came across loud and clear on “This Ain't No Country Song” and “Southbound.” The vocal issue didn't seem to bother the crowd one bit, though. They danced, they drank, and one person even stage-dived into his group of friends.
After a short break, and the crowd chanting for an encore, Alexander came back and slowed it down with “Storm Clouds” which included just him and one of his guitar players while the others slowly came back on stage. They then launched into “Southbound” (it was mentioned once before, but they only actually played it one time), and brought the opening acts on stage for a finale cover of “Can't You See.”
Blues-rockers the Dead Willow opened up the show with a set that seemed to gradually drift toward hard rock, and were followed by Jack and the Coax whose sound is hard to describe. They were the only band to have an alto saxophone player, and there was a definite Brian Setzer-like sound along a little rock and soul. Both bands were good, but it was also a challenge to hear the lyrics they were singing at times as well.
With their first release show under their belt, the Plott Hounds are on the right track. And it seems as though they're just getting started.