Earlier this year I had one of those evenings that made me remember why I do what I do. Before you start thinking dirty thoughts, I am talking about my love for music and sharing it with all of you wonderful readers out there via this high tech blog. I don’t get paid for this (yet), but I can tell you what, I will do this for as long as I can just because I love doing it…
Oh yes, that one evening earlier this year when I remembered why I love music and my blog and blah blah blah… Flashback time.
It was a warm summer evening and my favorite Columbus folk-duo The Electric Grandmother were playing a show at Annabell’s in Highland Square (a hipster rich area in Akron). We arrived just before the show was to start and I remember helping them move their gear into a side room of the bar as there was another act scheduled before them.
Mary Alice & Pete (aka The Electric Grandmother) offered me a delicious tall PBR as a thank you for helping them get situation (who later in the night dedicated a song to me – how thoughtful).
As I sat there and enjoyed that 24oz. of goodness, there was a male/female duo getting set up. I remember specifically stopping everything I was doing the second they started their soundcheck. All I could think of was “who in the hell is this?” Mind you I was dead serious and not sarcastic…
The band was called Fort Wilson Riot and they just so happened to fill in a last minute slot at Annabell’s as some unnamed venue in Cleveland cancelled on them. They were not looking rushed but you could tell they were moving as fast as they could to get set up. It was then and there they started that song that my attention was captured.
The song they played was called “Snakes & Scorpions” and featured the duo singing in a perfect harmony backed by an electric guitar and electric keyboard as well as a drum machine providing the beat.
It was a simple set up but the sound was not what I expected at all. The duo consisting of Jacob Mullis and Amy Hager reminded me of everything I liked about acts like Dresden Dolls, Mates Of State, Matt & Kim, and even The White Stripes. Why? Because they complimented one another perfectly. It’s like the ying and yang of music.
I liked what I heard and apparently so did everyone else in the bar that night as the entire basement of Annabell’s filled up after a couple songs in by Fort Wilson Riot. They were indie rock, they were pop rock cabaret-style…they were…good.
No one was expecting to hear that kind of music that night. I know I wasn’t.
I remember looking at Pete & Mary Alice and then looking around at all the people who gathered to see this mysterious band play. It was one of those acts where we could see people mouthing the words “who are these guys” followed by “they are really good.”
When I see people do that while watching a band I can not help myself but smile. That is why I love music and that is why I like to share it. Chances are I am not the only one who decided to tell someone about Fort Wilson Riot. I know I have multiple times, and here I am telling you all.
After their set I greeted them and throughout the night we chatted. I found out that they were from Minnesota and once were considered an “indie-rock opera” before slimming down to the duo. They were touring in a van on their own and had been touring with Ice Palace before making the stop in Cleveland.
Amy and Jacob hung out with us for the rest of the night and by the end of the evening they hooked me up with a copy of their latest album Predator Prey, a self-made album that once I listened to, turned me into even a bigger fan.
Not only is it the duo on the CD but they also enlisted a bunch of their talented friends to put together one great listen. I highly recommend checking out “Forgotten Language”, “All My Friends”, “Snakes & Scorpions” and cabaret-heavy “Diamond Blues”.
Have you found yourself interested in this band Fort Wilson Riot I speak of? Fear not you can check them out by heading over to their Bandcamp page. The album is only $8. What are you waiting for?