2012 Artist Lineup

Cordovas

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What if a band could sing soaring harmonies and not sound merely pretty? What if that same band had a downright Dead-like link to American musical mythology but also happened to have jazz cat chops? Well, there ain’t nothing iffy about it, folks: The Cordovas have arrived. Many bands are ballyhooed as Southern Rock, but only a handful worthy of the mantle. The Cordovas, formed around the triumvirate of Joe Firstman, Jon Loyd, and Toby Weaver, are poised to join the rarefied ranks of such bands as the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, and the Drive By Truckers. They possess those key ingredients that separate the men from the boys: yes, the ‘Dovas can jam—and how—but they also write songs suffused with melodies, characters and stories that will linger long after the music fades. Review of Cordovas “Live in Nashville” (2011) “Recorded a few short months and fifty-odd tour dates after the release of the Cordovas’ self-titled debut, Live in Nashville shows the group hitting their collective stride like a ton of bricks hurled at warp speed through the window of some imaginary house of blues, bluegrass, country, and jam-based rock. The album comprises nine original tracks from the Cordovas’ energy-drenched performance at 3rd and Lindsley, in the town where the band originated. Fittingly, much of the subject matter on Live in Nashville centers on the idea of coming home, both literally (“Old Dog” and “Angel Moon”) and spiritually(“All I Found” and “Feel Good to Be Free”). Although their signature harmonies—anchored by the rugged soulfulness of Joe Firstman and the silvery tenor of Jon Loyd—have earned them comparisons to bands like Crosby, Stills &Nash and the Eagles, the Cordovas do not rely solely on vocals. Their singing is supported by an accomplished musicianship, driven on the front end by the two-guitar attack of Firstman and Toby Weaver, who seamlessly switch duties between lead and rhythm. Jaron Lowenstein assists on acoustic, while Loyd adds considerable color with his melodic, Bruce Hornsby-esque keys and Jonathan Gray provides a backbone for the rhythm section on bass. Jamie Alegre rounds out the lineup with a drumming style that’s more Levon Helm than John Bonham, privileging feeling over flashiness. While it’s tempting to characterize the Cordovas as a throwback to 1970s-era Capricorn label artists, that designation falls short. The Cordovas aren’t tethered to a specific geographical location but to a set of ideas: pure musicianship and earnest songwriting. Their songs would sound just as good played live on your neighbor’s porch, stripped of the bells and whistles that a studio session could provide. Simply put, the Cordovas area must-see live act.” -Edith Johnson(Easy Reader News)

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