The Roxbury.
Hollywood, California, Jul 1995.
Southern Rock and British Roll.
Live Review by Jon Dunmore © 11 Jul 1995.

Rock and Roll. That was what I heard as I squeezed my bad self into the crowded rabbit-warren called The Roxbury, after paying the valet my life's savings. Rock and Roll. It's rare to hear real Rock and Roll sweeping off a stage at a supposed "rock" venue in 1995. But there it was. Disco decor, over-priced drinks, twenty-something crowd and - Rock and Roll.

The band that was rocking and rolling: The Windfields. As God said to Lot, "Find me one good man in this city of sin and I'll spare these goddam bastards," (paraphrased) here was one good band amidst a city of wankers. (Oh, when will the brimstone come to end it all?)

Not unlike those powerhouse purveyors of redneck rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers, the Windfields exuded a southern flavor - with a bit of Indian attack thrown in: Skynyrd meets Custer's Last Stand - any minute a cadre of bloodthirsty braves would burst through that door, yip-yipping past the bouncers, feathers resplendent, war-paint glowing blood-maroon and butt cracks all a-glisten with pungent sweat. (Libido turned up to '8' - for the laydayz!...)

But had I spoken too soon? Nearing the end of their set, the Windfields did not push that excitement into scalping mode. After a slew of catchy melodies (This Ain't Home, Miserable Together, Dreams Ain't Payin' The Bills, and the Black Crowes-like gospel of Anyway - that's at least two songs with "ain't" in the title, they must be southern), during which they all seemed to have a good ole time, they did not end the set on a Big Bang, but kinda petered out unintrusively.

I concluded that, although they were what one would term a "rollicking" band, it was doubtful that they craved - or would even be comfortable in - the limelight of the arena. Lead vocalist, Eric St. Michaels' MC meanderings ("Hi, we're The Windfields; what can I say... we don't hate anybody...") gave the impression they are content playing rock and roll for the sake of it, whilst retaining their day jobs in ponytails and ties.

The Windfields are: Mario Whitaker, guitar and keys; Jared Whitaker, drums; Scott Caudill, bass; Jimmy McMellen, guitar, and Eric St. Michaels on lead vocals and acoustic guitar. Currently available (on independent release) is their self-produced, self-titled CD.

The Windfields gallop the familiar holy burial grounds of Little Feet, The Small Faces and early Stones. And that's not wrong; better that rock and roll continues breeding from the good seeds... and it's commendable to see a band with long hair that isn't layer-cut or Aquanetted...

If you happen to catch The Windfields on your next pub crawl, drink in that traditional moonshine Rock and Roll. If you're not drunk yet, you will be. You will be.


Added: 2006, Feb 24