School for stage presence
Few musicians in town could be called “professional.” I don’t mean professional in regard to actually making a living playing music (there are, needless to say, even fewer of these folks), but rather simply those musicians who perform and present themselves at a consistently professional level.
Richard March is one such performer. In fact, among singer-songwriters in this town, he has the most professional stage presence, hands down—so much so that local musicians of any genre would be well-served watching a Richard March show and studying how the man performs his songs. March’s approach has many facets, all of which were in fine form last week at the Fox & Goose. First, make lots of eye contact with everyone in the room (and I mean everyone). Second, look like you’re having a good time. Third (actually first, but you get the point), make sure you have a crackin’ band that understands your songs and music. Fourth, write songs that folks can sing along to even if they’ve never heard them before (this is also Jackie Greene’s strong point in a live setting) and then make sure you have regular fans in the crowd who will sing along, hence encouraging others to join in. Last, make sure you, the central performer, are really, really good at what you do.
March covers all of these facets, and he does them all very well. It is particularly noteworthy that his band includes longtime guitar wizard Steve Randall, formerly of the Amazing Sweethearts, a player who is clearly one of the best country-style guitarists in the area. I’d like to see Randall step into the spotlight more in March’s band, because his leads are remarkable—melodic and perfectly in keeping with the style of the music. But this criticism is a slight one, as the complete package of March and band is certainly working on many levels. In the end, it’s great to hear a country band that sounds like a country band (even if March is, as he says, “a guy from the suburbs”).
More information and March’s new CD are available at www.richardmarch.com.
7Seconds returns to the news this week. The band reports that its new album has been mixed by Bill Stevenson (former Black Flag/Descendants drummer and now owner and operator of Fort Collins, Colo., studio the Blasting Room). As lead singer Kevin Seconds says on the band’s Web site, “Wait til you guys hear this new fucking album!!!” The band also has penned a merchandising deal with Machete, meaning that fans around the world can get T-shirts, buttons and other punk-rock paraphernalia. This is a good move, as it puts 7Seconds in a solid position for its upcoming European tour in November.
Speaking of that tour, the band very nearly had to cancel it. Because of personal reasons, longtime bassist Steve Youth had to bow out of this trip. Fortunately, a temporary replacement was found in the person of Bobby Jordan (the man of many bands, most recently the now-defunct Red Star Memorial and currently functional Mr. T Experience). Jordan will have his work cut out for him, though, because Youth is one of the fastest, most intense bass players anywhere. More news of happenings in the 7Seconds world is at www.7seconds.com.