Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013

Down Low Kickers

Although the first official day of summer isn’t until later this month, this past Wednesday felt as if the season had already fully arrived.  We couldn't have chosen a better outdoor show to sweat to, than that of local big-rock sound rousers, the Down Low Kickers.  This four man group played a powerful set a few days ago at Digby’s Pub and Patio, big stadium style.

The VIP-style seats we chose on the deck, facing the rear of the band, rewarded us with a cool breeze...likely created by the fast moving sticks of drummer Brad Pendleton.  It turned out to be the perfect spot.

They opened with an original called Big Mistake.  This well-written, well-structured song, set their presence.  With its smooth percussion breakdown, steady bass pull, and perfect guitar vibe, Big Mistake is a great tune with big crashing payoffs and rewarding vocals throughout.

In the company of a full audience, complete with hula-hoop girls, the DLK steeped us in summertime grooves. The ferocity of Mitch Barker’s guitar, Alex Visser’s driving bass, and Brad Pendleton’s unflinching percussion, built a solid foundation upon which Levi Hession’s rock styled croonings wooed an eager crowd.  Throughout the evening we were treated to a loving deluge of blues rock sound.

Interspersed with well chosen covers, each of their originals delivered a rock build-up, strong solos, and arena style vocalizations.

Led Zeppelin’s Hey Hey, What Can I Do - normally a boldly chosen, yet rarely done cover, flourished when laced with the collective Kickers style.  Hession’s vocals seasoned it for flavor, giving it a resonating vibe, finding a resting place in your noggin.

Their playlist was laid out in an almost storyteller fashion, perfectly constructed for the outdoor venue.

Also perfect for:
...a lazy summer day
...a drink on the patio with friends (Indeed)
...a boat ride on the lake

And perhaps at one point:
...lovers caught in a rain shower

I couldn’t help reminiscing about the first time I heard the Black Crowes - Twice As Hard, on a sandy beach, lakeside on a summer’s day.

That my what music is all about.

I’m thoroughly convinced that the collective talents of the DLK could, and will, produce many such rock-powered hits.  We’ll likely be having a conversation in a few years about how well their first album did.

My favorite DLK original is a slow build ballad of sorts.  Let It Happen, with its gentle beginning guitar effects drawing you in like a post-Woodstock lullabye, and big-venue style build in the key change, got stuck in my head.  I am continually humming one of its hooks as I write this article.  It has a deceptively large effect, growing more and more powerful near its end.

I can’t wait to see its effects played out for a large festival crowd.

The Down Low Kickers reflect the type of musicians we love here at RickerRocker... fearless ones.  Each of their originals sport the same intent, willful expressionism, and a melodic valley you can’t help but fall into immediately.

Listen here:

Favorite cover of the evening:
Bill Wither’s - Use Me - Falling easily in Levi’s wheelhouse, as well as complete open range for Mitch B.’s magic hands.

Finally, the DLK rewarded the crowd with an off-playlist, free-jam session at the end of the set.

And you know me... I... will always... love... when that happens - ;)

Favorite quote of the night:
“What up brah...I missed Sublime?”

Thanks for reading Lafayette and hey, slow down... and listen to some music.



Levi Hession - Vocals/Guitar

Brad Pendleton- Drums/Percussion

Mitch Barker- Lead Guitar/Vocals

Alex Visser - Bass