It's Business time

Tonight, J-Roddy Walston and the Business are  playing a $5 show at The Ottobar (2549 N. Howard St.).

Ever seen these guys before? They are quite possibly the hardest rocking band in Baltimore -- not because they play super loud or super fast or super distorted. I've just never seen another Baltimore band rock quite as hard as them.

J-Roddy Walston and the Business dial up the reckless, rollicking rock 'n' roll of the 1950s, and infuse it with the fist-pumping depth and edge of 1970s rock.

With tons of hair, head-banging and righteous attitude, these guys have a riotous stage presence, too ...

If the Hold Steady is America's best bar band, J-Roddy Walston and the Business is Baltimore's best bar band.

I did a short piece in today's paper about the band. I talked to drummer Steve Colmus, who kind of acts as the band's spokesman. The piece came together last-minute, and I heard back from front man Walston too late to get him in the story.

Walston had some interesting perspective on where the band was coming from musically when they were writing the tunes for their new album, which should be out in the fall.

"You've got a lot of time to listen to music when you're touring," he said. 

Walston got into early Bob Dylan, the Band and Randy Newman. He also said there was a phase when the band submerged themselves in Stax Records and old soul music.

Since the band toured so much this past year, most of the new songs were fleshed out on the road.

"More than any influence as far as a band or record was touring," Walston said. "This isn't like an album of tour songs. It's not about life on the road or anything like that. But it's more of a mindset."

(Photo by Ryan Thomas)

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