Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013
I particularly enjoyed Wicked Heart, a wonderful original with power tones, mixed timing and my favorite little trick: a non-chorus title drop.
Favorite cover of the evening: White Room - perfectly suited for Mitch’s vocal range, with band in tow. It was a fearless cover of Cream’s classic...well-sustained on all fronts.
Second favorite cover: (and it happened after I stepped out for a bit), Jethro Tull’s - Locomotive Breath.
Then it was Mike Baker on vocals for Johnny O'Keefe’s - The Wild One - Iggy Pop style.
This willingness to inner-collaborate on the stage shows what I’ve been saying for years. And I love to repeat it:
Hard work and chemistry, plus fearlessness = success!
Never, ever underestimate chemistry.
Favorite quote of the night:
Second favorite quote of the night:
“Just the way daddy likes it...”
Thanks for reading Lafayette and hey, slow down... and listen to some music - :)
Jeff Neyhart - drums/vocals
Mike Baker - bass/vocals
Ryan Neimeyer - guitar
Brad Schrombeck - guitar
Mitch Barker - vocals/guitar
Pat Schrombeck - sound - (filling in that night for Jimmy Pelham.)
We were treated to an extra special show last Saturday. Seated at one of the many full tables that evening at the Knickerbocker Saloon, we not only got to see a band we’ve been following on the outskirts for some time, but we got to do so at the very table where the idea for RickerRocker was first conceived.
The Mitch Barker Band welcomed a full house, their set list rivaling most acts of late. Their originals, and many well chosen and well done covers brought a myriad of emotion on a Saturday night. This band showed us they could change our mood in a second with a heady combination of crooning, powerful guitar exchanges, a strong drum foundation, and fantastic mixed vocals.
The 5-piece, 5-man band opened with a blues original called Stone Cold Blues. It was a somewhat earthy, riffed tune that told a story in blues fashion with classed up rhythm and tone. I can’t wait to hear it again.
Of the many talents expressed throughout the evening, one of the most rewarding was a bit of guitar tête–à–tête during the first half of the set. This dueling paired well with the cover of Shake That Money Maker, an Elmore James original I believe.
Tom Petty’s classic Breakdown allowed the highlight of some impressive (and spot on) background vocals from drummer Jeff Neyhart and bass player Mike Baker.
And treating us once again, were more great background vocals by Jeff and Mike. I loved hearing the authenticity in the covers.
The MBB kept the jazzed up rock level at maximum, never slowing, keeping an increasingly excited crowd’s party spirit’s up with more well done covers and originals. I got a few chills at one point when they transitioned from The Black Keys I’ll Be Your Man, to The Temptations My Girl. It was smooth and surprisingly uplifting.
And again with the background vocals!
There were a few “switcheroos” as well. For one tune, Mike Baker handed his bass to Ryan Neimeyer, and in turn took Ryan’s guitar, both gentlemen showing off their multi-instrument prowess.
Then came...The Price. This original resonated with me in both a nostalgic AND romantic way. It has just the right kind of intro, smooth transitions, a soft bridge, and a crooned injection of danceability. It’s a very well written song. It will do well.
I asked Mitch about his vision for the band.
MB: I'm really lucky I get to play with these guys. All four of them are extremely skilled at what they do. I know I've grown a ton as a musician since we started playing together a couple of years ago. They're good guys too. We get along great and work well together.
We're in a writing/recording phase right now, so we just want to get all of our original music recorded and get it out there. We are pretty optimistic that we'll have an album out by the end of this year.
That last statement took the words right out of my mouth. I think we’ll see much more activity in the MBB camp.
Listen to The Price here:
Mitch and the boys then broke out with some much sweeter licks and guitar fueled sounds aflame, on a Grand Funk Railroad classic - Inside Looking Out. The hum in the bass channel in the beginning added to its nostalgic feel to the point that I almost heard vinyl static. It created an expectation immediately as they leaned forward into the best breakdowns of the night. During this extended classic jam, we enjoyed a rewarding showcase of a very talented lead guitarist Brad Schrombeck.
On that note, there wasn’t a single point in the evening, where harmony failed. These guys seemed to know each other’s vocal capabilities well, atop the din of what was often a physical delivery as well as a vocal one.
Mitch Barker (who also plays and sings with the band The Down Low Kickers) put down his guitar at one point for his top shelf delivery of Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon. It showed great trust in a band to carry a lead vocalist sans the usual wielded guitar. I was impressed by the support during those moments. Each member had real contributions...there was no background noise to be taken for granted. Maximum use by all.
~Mitch Barker Band~
Sep. 10th, 2016
Mitch Barker Music: