I spent the latter portion of my teenage years becoming increasingly disenchanted by “classic” rock. Let’s face it – there are only so many farewell tours you can stomach before you begin to resent your parents and all of the other forty-somethings stewing in their own stagnation while the same three overplayed Rolling Stones singles repeat in the background. Completely by chance, my faltering faith was restored last Saturday night by four young transplants from Washington whose music harkens back to the true spirit of rock and roll.I stumbled into The End, West Nashville’s most beloved dive bar, expecting to see The Kindergarten Circus on the last night of Next BIG Nashville. While they are four-year veterans of the annual festival, this would have been my first time seeing Murfreesboro’s own pubescent performers put on a show since their lead singer graduated high school. In their place, however, The Lonely H took the stage.
Chic yet rugged in the way that only a lead man in a shirt reminiscent of Porter Waggoner could pull off, Mark Fredson began to pound the keys with unparalleled zeal. Nearly questioning DJ Murphy’s authority as the most enthusiastic bassist in Nashville, Johnny Whitman’s infectious grin threatened to bust the frames of his birth control glasses. Howling away and writhing about for just thirty minutes, The Lonely H had, with a fresh and youthful spirit, resurrected all of the redeeming qualities of their classic influences: The Allman Brothers, Bob Segar, and The Band, to name a few.
The story goes that the Pacific coast natives had been greatly impacted by the Nashville music scene while passing through on tour in 2008 and 2009, apparently to the point that in the summer of 2010 they committed to blatantly contradict their tune “Out West,” in favor of migrating to the heart of the southeast. They spent all summer diligently submitting to the dull lifestyle of the daily grind in order to save every cent with hopes of making a home in Music City. In early September, the boys said their goodbyes to Seattle, and a mere three weeks later they were assuming the Kindergarten Circus’ NBN slot at the last minute, and simultaneously leaving this writer pleasantly surprised and spellbound.
With three full length albums under their belt at ages when most of us are still wondering what’s next, the members of the Lonely H are hoping to begin recording new material for a fourth release as soon as possible. I exude nothing but the purest enthusiasm at the thought of these aggressive artists joining the Nashville family. Allow our new brothers’ “Cold Blues” to melt your heart. You won’t be disappointed.