Hot pick of the week: "40 East is the right direction"
by Darrin Gurganious
40 East is drenched in talent. I’ve been reviewing bands for several years now so, I believe that I know of what I speak. This high energy band deserves an audience’s attention. Their sound and vibe is contagious. From the opening song to the final act 40 East deliver an incredible live experience that will leave you hungry for more. When talented musicians come together and love what they are doing the result is always amazing. Fronting this talented ensemble is the sultry Danica Fletcher. Believe me when I tell you that this girl can deliver the goods. Her vocals are spot on. She has excellent control, real emotion and a beautiful slow, wavy vibrato. From Carrie Underwood to Lady Gaga, Danica delivers a spot on vocal that is a flat out hot! She works a crowd like she born on the stage and it’s easy to see that the chemistry of this band has developed over years of live performances. On guitar is Daniel McIntyre and Thomas Boyd. Their sound is Clean, sharp, biting, just dirty enough when necessary. These guys can flat out wail! The Bassist, John Topping delivers a deep visceral sound that is thick and tight. The drummers name is David Toma and he is a high energy showman that puts the perfect accents right where they belong. Rounding off this talented ensemble is the keyboard player who has great technique and amazing articulation. 40 east have it all. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them perform on two different occasions now and each time they have left me wanting more. That’s why they are Cape Fear Rocks hot pick of the week!
I had the opportunity to stop in at local’s tavern this past Wednesday night and listen to James Haff, who is also known as “the piano man.” This was my second time seeing James in person and just like the first time I was not disappointed. If you ever get the chance to check out one of his live performances be sure to bring a list of your favorite songs, because more than likely James will know them all by heart. The only thing more impressive than his knowledge of popular music is his mastery of the keyboard. In a musical world filled with insta artists and self indulgent musicians James is a breath of fresh air. His playing of the keyboard almost seems effortless although I am sure nothing could be further from the truth. After listening for only a few songs it becomes obvious how much time and talent he has devoted to honing his craft. His energy and interaction with the audience is amazing. He transitions from one song to the next without an ounce of hesitation and his vocal skills are top notch and lend themselves well to almost any genre. He’s as comfortable belting out a great journey tune as he is singing a Garth brooks classic. So, if you’re ever in the mood for a piano bar experience I strongly suggest that you give James a listen. That’s why he is Cape Fear rocks hot pick of the week!
Machine Gun band review
"A band called Jam Sandwich"
Jam Sandwich is a refreshing group of southern rock musicians in todays over polished, over-produced, systematically formulated insta-music scene. The band already has a strong local fan base around Wilmington, NC, but it shouldn't take to long for this talented bunch to expand it's following far beyond the limits of the cape fear region.
They have an energetic style that really keeps the crowd involved all the way up to last call. The band has been building a fan base at their live shows for the last year and Jam Sandwich is already well known for their blistering live performances. When they hit the stage, they go out and give the people their money's worth with roots-driven, no holds barred rock. I've seen them now at two different venues and believe me they have earned their "Cape Fear Rocks" seal of approval!