Berklee Music Festival at George's Island will host Eleven Dollar Bills tomorrow and the Chicago based band is certainly at the baby stages of career development. Their audience will most likely agree that the particular newbie is a pleasant toddler nonetheless; not one of those nightmare cry-babies that scream all the way from Chicago to Boston in a Greyhound Express.
The trap of the 'love song'
'...girlfriends, sure can talk' (from the song Change Your Mind) says lead singer Jordan Casty (guitar and vocals) with Matt Carroll (drums) and Garrett Eaton (bass). The band's self-titled debut album deals with one main inconsolable subject: Girls. (Not that there's anything wrong with that -- Maroon 5 is still babbling about the same thematic loophole and they are old enough to be Justin Bieber's daddies).
Billy Joel once joked that he went along with the allure of rock'n'roll in order 'to get girls'. He certainly did succeed in this endeavor and is still paying the alimonies from his Uptown Girl royalties. Yet Billy Joel also incorporated various themes in his song catalog besides lascivious musings; his songs took on everything from Vietnam to the blue-collar classic Downeaster Alexa. Even a New York City bound Greyhound bus (hence the prior analogy) was a worthwhile lyrical stance for the Piano Man. The Billy Joel's songbook must be digested by all new pop/rock songwriters and here is his speech at a Berklee graduation ceremony. The new generation of writers have to expand upon lyrical themes without escaping to the first exit whenever various definable emotions rhyme with 'dove'.
Eleven Dollar Bills have many pleasant aspects at work/in progress; the lead singer does have an engaging voice and the trio is tight -- they have learned the capabilities of their instruments and in order to produce engaging original work with stellar proficiency, they will surely pay their non-counterfeit musical dues.
It will be interesting to watch them grow and tomorrow's performance at George's Island is an important gig for the trio. The song "Lucy" may have a shot to propel them to the next level; up or down will be decided by a very impatient crowd of social media onlookers and synchronistically aligned passersby. Eleven Dollar Bills have the ingredients to make an interesting meal and will preferably add some spices for that special extra kick; which means they must also start working on new material that will not be readily approved by their prospective/present/past significant others, nor their mothers.
Saturday / August 24, 2013 / 3:00 p.m.
Boston Harbor Islands Boston MA 02125
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