Bluegrass band Round Mountain Girls played Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge (12 May) in support of their new album, ‘Meet You At The End’.
A decade of constant touring and recording should tire a band. However, Round Mountain Girls showed no signs of stopping as they barrelled through a set turning the place into one-big party where they were the soundtrack and life of it.
Opener Brad Butcher’s set was filled with gentle, country lullabies, some of which will feature on his upcoming album. Alone on stage, Brad strummed and picked his way around his guitar while his deep, husky voice sang of his life as a fly-in-fly-out worker.
In his opening lyric he tells a woman: “You’re smooth like Tennessee whiskey.” You can imagine the object of his desires commenting that the same could be said of his voice.
Round Mountain Girls must have spent Brad’s set warming up, as they unleashed a torrent of energy upon picking up their instruments. The five-piece charged through their first two songs like a runaway train, warming the venue with their steam.
It didn’t take long for punters to go from nodding their heads to trickling on to the dancefloor. Even when they turned down the tempo on new song, ‘The Constant Rhythm', Round Mountain Girls played with the drive they began with. ‘Chop Me Down’ was another highlight, with the band roaring to life and Rabbit Robinson’s fiddle squealing like a banshee throughout.
All the boys looked like rock stars, with flowing hair and Rabbit’s sparkling vest. Each members would unleash solos on their respective instruments, with Chris Eaton close to jumping off the stage during an electric-banjo solo.
They showed off their rock chops with excellent covers of The Bangles’ ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’, Wolfmother’s ‘The Joker And The Thief’ and a hell-raising cover of ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’. The band played with such fury Chris Eaton and Chris Brooker both broke strings during slower song ‘Something Wrong’ (the irony wasn’t lost on them).
Round Mountain Girls are an exciting band to watch, with the tunes to back them up. They give bluegrass an electric shock of rock & roll, guaranteeing them the title of the hillbilly Guns N Roses.