“Full Metal Blues” Blows The Lid Off Crossroads
January 14th, 2010 No Comments »
Only for good music will I brave the unrelenting cold that’s been pounding the tri-state as of late. As I sit here with the first signs of an oncoming cold, I will admit the trip to The Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, this past Sunday night to see The Full Metal Blues Band was worth the sniffles and scratchy throat I am now experiencing.
The invite described the event as “the blues with hard edge – rock, jazz, blues and metal fusion.” I didn’t know what to expect as I walked toward the entrance, heavy metal chords drifting across the quiet parking lot and surrounding town, sound vibrations sending a shiver of excitement through my body. When I finally walked in, I had to take a moment to focus. There on center stage was a heavy metal rocker in the middle of an intense solo that literally held everyone’s attention. After a minute or so the song ended, leaving me in awe of the young player’s talent, who I later found out is only 15!
It would be a huge understatement to say The Full Metal Blues Band is like nothing you’ve ever seen. From the eclectic mix of members to their unconventional style and sound, these musicians have somehow found a way to combine the timeless qualities of traditional blues with classic jazz elements and modern rock. Most of the set featured favorites by Muddy Waters and Brownie Mcghee. The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the band’s version of BB King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” Lead singer and keyboardist Vince Di Mura was the very essence of soul, his deep voice lending even more emotion to the performance. Drummer Corey Rawls and bassist Antar Goodwin provided excellent accompaniment but otherwise stepped back to give Di Mura and his son Dre the spotlight.
In fact the father-son duo spent most of the night in a showdown as Di Mura set beats which the youngster then effortlessly ripped on several electric guitars. It’s obvious Dre will go places. His dad’s pride could not be disguised as he looked on smilingly during every one of his son’s amazing solos.
“The blues only has three chords,” explained Di Mura in between sets. “And it’s hard to understand why you’re never tired of those same three chords.” But those who were in attendance, following and tapping along to the funky and soulful numbers, would probably say the music makes you forget everything going on around you. The rhythm courses through your body, and you can’t help but remain transfixed by what you’re feeling. So much so that someone has to bring you out of your reverie which is exactly what Di Mura had to do when he brought the show to a close, much to everyone’s disappointment.