CD review: The Henry Clay People's 'Somewhere on the Golden Coast'

(Courtesy Of The Henry Clay People - Courtesy Of The Henry Clay People)
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Friday, October 8, 2010


"Somewhere on the Golden Coast"

Kindred spirits: The Replacements, Drive-By Truckers, the Hold Steady

Show: Thursday at the Black Cat. Show starts at 9 p.m. 202-667-4490. $10.

The Henry Clay People do not play indie rock. They play indie rock-and-roll. Bands with a slide guitar, honky-tonk piano flourishes and an opening slot on the Drive-By Truckers summer tour are not normally the stomping grounds for young 20-something musicians, much less those from the L.A. music scene. But when singer-songwriter Joey Siara sings, "This ain't a scene, it's just a place to be/We won't be settled down until we've seen everything" on the group's new album, "Somewhere on the Golden Coast," he sounds surprisingly grizzled.

Don't listen to the HCP for chillwave or synth-laden indie pop. This is blue-collar rock. The songs are short bursts of energy, most about three minutes. When keyboardist Jordan Hudock slides his hands down the length of the keyboard and Andy Siara, Joey's brother, plays the slide on songs such as "End of an Empire," it's easy to see why the band has been compared to the early E Street Band. This is energized bar music that we're used to from veterans of the scene like the Hold Steady.

-- Benjamin Opipari

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