In our preview of the first night of Road to Nightfall 2017, Nooga.com spent time looking at bands whose work is influenced by both their geography and individual rhythmic preferences. We continue this exploration into the music that seems to naturally spring up around Chattanooga for the second evening of the contest.
Here's a brief glimpse into the music of the bands who will be performing at Granfalloon Saturday night. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. The music will start at 8 p.m. promptly and will continue into the late hours of the night.
The Courtney Holder Band
A singer-songwriter who demolishes our assumptions regarding the veracity of the genre within which she operates, Courtney Holder is a musician whose expansive outlook on music is matched only by the remarkable chemistry of her backing band. Positioned between the introspective fragility of Jewel and the emotional release of Stevie Nicks, Holder's work is confident and reveals a fiery determination.
I Can Japan
There's so much familiarity to the lineage of indie rock that many bands fail to resolve the necessity of peeling back its rhythms to discover the innate connections that these specific sounds form with their audience. But for I Can Japan, this intrinsic ability to reveal the basic tenets of the genre with insight and candor is part and parcel of their fascinating aesthetic. By stripping their influences to the bone and exposing their beating hearts, the band uncovers the true nature of their multifaceted work.
Napoleon Cummings, known as Polo to his friends, inhabits a skewed R&B world where pop, jazz and soul lock their arms in a collective resistance to the machinations of the outside world. Having gained a good measure of experience touring with Michael Bublé as part of his opening act, Cummings submerges himself in the music of artists like Herbie Hancock, Ludacris and Quincy Jones to build a limitless foundation upon which to draw inspiration for his unconventional forays into various genres.
Progressive music—that is, music that culls its influences from an almost-unlimited list of artists—can often be seen as willfully dense or meandering, but in the right hands, it can evoke the buzz of decades past while creating a unique identity for itself. Chattanooga band Over Easy seeks to filter their pop, rock, funk and metal influences through a gauzy fog of nonlinear creativity, resulting in an often-cacophonous release of intense emotion and boundless enthusiasm.
Ashley and the X's
The work of blues-rock outfit Ashley and the X's feels like the end result of spending too many hours in a dark bar having a conversation with Tom Waits about the importance of Nina Simone. Evincing a ferocious rock aptitude, the band howls through their blues-addled stories with the movement of a runaway boulder. Drawing on disparate influences that connect in unexpected ways, they reveal the direct connections that we all associate with various types of music and have a roaring good time while they do it.
Chattanooga's Caney Village creates according to their collective associations and experiences. Their work is an amalgam of folk and bluegrass-tinged jams, the kind of music that can be heard around a campfire late at night or on any given porch surrounded by friends. Harmonies soar and delicate arrangements sigh—their songs are carried along in the thoughts and connections that exist among the band, forged by the memories and communal bonds that have been created through years of friendship.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.