There is not much that can top live music, no matter what night the show happens to fall. This past Sunday night a couple of bands hit the stage at Terminal West and proceeded to deliver an evening of good old blues infused rock n roll and the folks there didn’t care that they were rapidly approaching another Monday morning. All that mattered at was the music from Black Joe Lewis and one of Atlanta’s favorite bands The Sundogs.
Black Joe Lewis (BJL) took the stage with little fan fare, said hello then kicked into four straight songs before taking a breather to talk to the crowd. Backed by a killer horn section which adds the soul and a booming rhythm section the focus was squarely on Mr. Lewis’ blistering guitar playing and primal wail. I had been told that there was not a lot in this world that compared to BJL live and Sunday night supported that statement. The set list was heavy on new tunes from the latest record Electric Slave, but he mixed in a nice selection of songs from past records and when they kicked into “Booty City” the place went nuts. BJL only knows one speed, wide ass open, and that is exactly what Sunday night’s show was. Their raw fuzzy sound leaped from the speakers invading each and every soul there taking them on a roller coaster ride through their musical world. When the encore ended and the whine of his guitar faded from the room everyone was left exhausted, with a dull ringing in their ear and wanting to do it all over again.
I always say you need to get there early to catch the opening act because you never know how good they will be and it is good to throw them support. If you missed the openers Sunday then you did yourself a serious injustice.
The Sundogs hit the stage and reeled off a short but sweet set of tunes. With a three guitar attack the six man band showed why they are one of Atlanta’s favorite live acts. Their sound ranges from Tom Petty style laid back rock to the bluesy swagger of the Allman Brothers and the vocal harmonies of The Band and these guys shift gears effortlessly in and out of all three. Treating the crowd to a batch of their favorite songs the band sounded tight and they played off one another. They treated everyone to a couple of new tracks, “Get Right” and “I May Not Make It Into Heaven” that sounded great and really sent things over the top with a cover of an old Sleepy John Estes blues tune. This was my first time experiencing the Sundogs live and after doing so I am ashamed of myself for not doing it sooner.
Terminal West has quickly become “the place” to play in Atlanta and Sunday night was yet another example of this. Black Joe Lewis was raw and loud while the Sundogs were smooth and rocking. The two complimented each other perfectly and all that attended went home satisfied, at least musically. I highly suggest you check out both of these bands’s music and hit up a show whenever they play near you, your soul will be happy you did.