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