San Francisco came to town last night, during the Venus transition, as jam rock bands The Stone Foxes and Tea Leaf Green took to the stage at Headliner’s Music Hall. Both groups hail from the San Francisco Bay area and this was the first time that the Stone Foxes stopped through Louisville, opening for Tea Leaf Green, a 13-year career band that is followed by some of the most interesting dancers ever to be witnessed.
The Stone Foxes, fronted by drummer Shannon Koehler and brother Spence Koehler, formed in 2005 at the same college as Tea Leaf Green, San Francisco State University. Within the first several tunes you can hear tasty musical flirtations of influences such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. By a few songs in Shannon Koehler comes out from behind his drum set to sing “I Did What I Did to Get By,” and then jumps behind the kit again only to jam through an instrumental jam that has the power of Moby Dick. The Stone Foxes have opened up for Kentucky’s own Cage The Elephant and the Black Keys and their cover of Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee” has been featured on the national ad campaign for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.
Tea Leaf Green fronted by keyboardist Trevor Garrod and complete with two drummers, Scott Rager and Cochrane McMillian, is a mix of everything musically. From the opening psychedelic instrumental tune under the dim blue light you can feel the energy in the deep bottom rhythm section, completed by bassist, Reed Mathis, who is a fairly new animated addition to the group. The middle-aged hipster crowd, who came from bordering states to view Tea Leaf Green, happily danced around to every tune in their own unique way. Guitarist Josh Clark adds in a nice flavor of Theremin sounding swells and slides with wah-wah grooves always hiding behind his baseball cap. Lead singer Trevor Garrod could just be the wild love child of Bob Dylan and John Lennon and by the second song in, the sounds of church piano and synthesizer fill the room with a sweet innocence. Tea Leaf Green, off the release of their latest album Radio Tragedy, are a mix of every style of music from Jefferson Airplane to Ray Charles to the light, sexy appeal of the Bee Gees and they can segue into any style as shown throughout the night. Look for these guys to be touring on stage through the eastern part of the United States this summer.
photos courtesy Allison Ray