Near and dear to my Rock & Roll tendencies, I’m excited for the Black Owls return to town this Saturday. Don’t know who they are? The Black Owls are a Rock & Roll band with a riffed up/stripped down sound, simple yet intense, familiar yet beguiling. Heavy beats and biting riffs lined with stealth bass. I don’t know, call it Retro Rhythmic Rock. The kind of music that’s just so good you can’t imagine your friends not diggin' deep into it. —-Here, have a listen.
I was a little nervous to see them at the Southgate House earlier this month, anticipating a slew of new songs from their upcoming sophomore release, June ‘71. I’m a large fan, you see, of the sound and semantics of their 2008 debut album, Lightning Made Us Who We Are. Time can change a man, yes? Then time can change a band. With bassist Alan Beaver joining the Black Owl parliament in 2009, who’s to say Ed Shuttlesworth (guitar hero) and David Butler (rear and rare front man on drums) didn’t flee the tree I hold so dear? Ah, my beloved Black Owls, they’ve remained true to their nocturnal nature with June ‘71.
Quick take from David Butler: “June '71 is a change, but maintaining the qualities of the Black Owl style we love. We stripped down to get heavier. The sound is getting more condensed from the elements that we've built the stage upon. If Lightning Made Us Who We Are was a lap around the classic rock gene pool, June '71 is us honing in on the Black Owl sound, and expanding out from that focused idea. One vocal lead, one guitar, drums and bass. The title (June '71) reflects a mood and tempo for the release, not so much that we sound like a band from '71, but changing with the time as the music did then. A bit darker, deeper, heavier. We're looking now at an early April release of the disc.”
The Black Owls open for The Tigerlilies this Saturday at Northside Tavern.
Read a previous Black Owls article here.