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Concert Reviews

REVIEW – The Typical Johnsons Are Anything But Typical

The Typical Johnsons at Rumba Cafe

There are myriad bands that inhabit the Central Ohio region, with many of them doing their best to make their mark on a crowded musical landscape. With their style varying greatly, it is sometimes rather difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

But every now and then, a sound resonates within the depths of your soul that touches you in a way that causes a craving for more. A band emerges from the vast sea of music that you just know is destined for something on a much grander scale.

The Typical Johnsons are that band.

Combining elements of Rock, Americana, Southern Country Rock sprinkled with a liberal dose of punk attitude, they are forging their way onto the music scene in a way that commands your attention.

While the music they’ve laid down on tape (figuratively speaking) is very good, full of wonderful harmonies and lush melodies, it’s their live show that will have you sitting up and taking notice.

They recently opened for The Dollyrots on their “Party Time Excellent Tour” at the Rumba Café in Columbus on March 15.

With technical difficulties plaguing Jeremy Siegrist (vocals/guitar) during soundcheck, one was left to ponder how this would affect their performance that evening.

When they took the stage, Siegrist addressed the audience with “Hello my rock and roll brothers and sisters…” before he launched into the first song of their set with just his voice and guitar. The as-yet untitled new song had a midtempo Americana feel to it, with a distinct Drive-By Truckers/The Band vibe to it.

As the notes began to fade away from the first song, Siegrist bridged the gap by saying “We are The Typical Johnsons and this is what we do…”, as the band began to play Big E (Genesis Intro). This segued into the uptempo and raucous Genesis, with the smoking hot guitar work encompassing the crowd.

Without missing a beat, they continued with Home Ground, one of their oldest songs. “This is a song about my hometown,” said Siegrist by way of introduction. The solid rock vibe drew the crowd closer, as the band kept everything tight, all while having fun. It’s a song that most everyone can relate to, and the crowd was enthusiastic with their praise upon its conclusion.

The normally fast-paced, punk styling of Lo-Fi­ was slowed down a touch from its original form, adding more gravitas to the number. At this point, Siegrist experienced an issue with his guitar, forcing him to take it off as Seth Canan jumped into the breach with great energy and blistering guitar work. The harmonies between Jeremy and Lynne Siegrist were on point, as they inevitably and without fail, usually are.

Despite the technical issues, the band was having fun and the crowd sensed this as the uptempo rocker Have Heart assaulted their aural synapses. After the final verse, the band slowed the pace down, with Siegrist asking the upturned faces “Are you ready to go to church with me?” To which the answer was a roar of approval from the crowd, as the band conducted a musical sermon full of emotion.

Having played a blistering set to this point, it was time to bring everyone in for a safe landing. “We’re going to take you guys home,” announced Siegrist, as the melodic opening notes of Drawing Blood emanated from the speakers. There was a pronounced Marshall Tucker vibe to the first half of the song, with the vocal harmonies subtle, yet heartfelt. You could feel their pain as Jeremy and Lynne sang “It’s the one’s that draw the blood that seem to be most real…”

When the band kicked the tune into high gear, they must have used rocket fuel in their amplifiers. Taking the song from the slower, melodic vibe to something more akin to Mudcrutch, they became one with the music. Canan’s blistering guitar solo was reminiscent of watching Alvin Lee of Ten Year’s After tear-up the stage at Woodstock.

Short, sweet and too the point, The Typical Johnsons delivered a set that showcased not only their musicianship, but also a succinct overview of the band’s sound.

As I alluded to earlier, this is a band that’s going places. This is evidenced not only by the energy of their live set, but also by the fact that Frank Turner asked them to play his award-winning “Lost Evenings” Festival at the House of Blues in Boston, MA in May. Heady stuff, indeed.

Don’t sleep on The Typical Johnsons. They will strike a chord within you, making you wonder where they’ve been all your life.

Set List

  1. Untitled new song
  2. Big E (Genesis Intro)
  3. Genesis
  4. Home Ground
  5. Lo-Fi (original
  6. Have Heart
  7. Drawing Blood

Credit all images: Orange Attic Creative / MIMC

The Typical Johnsons – Drawing Blood

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