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Tommy Talton Band Takes it to the Melting Point

Posted: Oct 27, 2007

Both The New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine recently named Athens, Georgia as the number one music scene in America, and I have no doubt that is true. Especially after witnessing Thursday night’s performances at The Melting Point, a great little listening room that is one part of the mini-village known as The Foundry Park Inn and Spa.

Now, the Foundry Park Inn is a story all unto itself. A historic set of buildings that date back to the Civil War, with comfortable rooms and great old huge beds. I highly recommend this budget-friendly hotel when you are visiting Athens.

Our main reason for trucking down to Athens was to witness this show by The Tommy Talton Band, Not only is Talton a founding member of the legendary Capricorn Records band Cowboy as well as the current Capricorn Rhythm Section, he also fronts his own four-piece band made up of four of the most talented players in the South.

Tony Giordano (aka: “Tony G”) is a masterful keyboard man, who can vacillate between beautiful Bruce Hornsby style piano and ethereal Pink Floyd sounds without missing a beat. Speaking of beats, David Keith, whom we got to know better on this trip, is a hilarious funny man offstage and a powerhouse drummer onstage. Brandon Peeples plays electric and stand up acoustic bass to beat the band, and what can I say about Tommy Talton? I love his music so much that I believe I am running dry of adjectives to describe it.

Tonight’s added treat was the opening act, Mojo Saint, a three piece blues band made up of the smoking hot guitarist Billy Earl McClelland, drummer David Bazeall and legendary Wet Willie bassist Jack Hall.

From his originals like the funky “Chicken Snake” song and the crowd pleasing “Burn the Crack House Down,” and apt covers of “She Caught the Katie” and Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon,” Billy Earl and the band rocked the audience with excellent blues, and a great cover of “Statesborro Blues.”

The Tommy Talton Band came onstage and never once let up. From beginning to end, it was just one dynamic song after another, Cowboy songs, Talton originals and covers, all mixed together in this magical stew that is the TTB.

We were treated to a first at the very beginning of the set, as Tommy strapped on the acoustic to perform an old Cowboy song written by Talton’s partner in crime, Scott Boyer called “Message in the Wind.” It was a real treat for an old Cowboy fan like myself.

Next up was the instrumental that Tommy announced as “My Baby Don’t Shave (And She Likes to Misbehave).” Good stuff.

Throughout the evening the band played all of my favorites, like “Color My Sleep,” a Talton original reminiscent of a Van Morrison vibe. I love that song. I told my wife that any songwriter who can incorporate the word “ trivialities” into a song is immediately my hero.

And then there was their cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” which always goes over great.

One comment I’d like to add here is that the Tommy Talton Band know how to do dynamics in music. That, to me, is one of the most important elements in live music. Until the TTB, I felt the kings of dynamics were Dire Straits. Sorry Mark Knopfler, the torch has been passed.

“Wake Up Ready” is another winner, and “Like a River to The Sea” has always been one of my favorites. Talton’s lead and slide work is as close as it gets to Duane Allman. I mean it.

The songs just kept coming, and I was watching audience members dancing in their seats and having the time of their lives. Among them was our buddy Bob Rumer who plays with Tommy Crain and The Crosstown Allstars and his wife.

“Baby I’m On Your Side,” Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With,” “Where Can You Go” - not one bad note.

The encore was Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat,” which Tommy slays.

It was another simply amazing show by The Tommy Talton Band, and as I have said before and will say again, if you haven’t caught onto the TTB wave, you need to. Talton really did take it to The Melting Point. You should have been there.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

Photos by Jill Smith and Bufalo

Buffalo with Jack Hall.

Jack Hall, Jim Hawkins and Tommy Talton.

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MusicMattersEntertainment says...

Thank you, Mike, for an amazing and accurate review, and for giving Tommy Talton and his band the recognition and they deserve. This was a beautiful night of music, and I thank Tommy, his band, and Mojo:Saint for making this a very special evening for me and all others in attendance. Cowgirl, we will certainly look into booking Tommy near you. Thanks again, Mike, for everything you do for the music scene! MME

Cowgirl says...

I am from Spartanburg, SC and I am a big fan of Gritz. I am also an old fan of Cowboy, Marshall Tucker, The Eagles, The Winters Brothers and The Allman Brothers. I enjoyed this review and hope to see Tommy's band soon. Do you think they will play in our area soon? I would like info on ordering Tommy's albums as well.

moonwoman3 says...

My husband treated me to the show at the Foundry last week..wow,I hope no one calls the police, because if they knew how good the Tommy Talton Band is, they would make a law against it! Truly lyrics for these times...talent for this century, the Age of Aquarius... Jill

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