Richard James and the Name Changers to Play Roots Rock on Saturday
By: Sam Houghton, February 8, 2013
“Whiskey infused roots rock and roll,” says Richard James when suggesting a sound for his band, Richard James and the Name Changers, a band from Boston who will release their second album “Cuba Street” at the Beach House tomorrow night. “I’m not really sure what that means,” he says, “but it sounds good.”
What he means is that we will get a taste of some booming and rocking, keyboard heavy, horns blasting, funky, boogie-woogie, roots rock and roll – a high energy set, perfect for a little respite from the family blues as the snow builds up and cabin fever kicks in.
The band’s sound retains a modern feel like a My Morning Jacket but continue the roots theme, paying tribute to the past with sounds comparable to the likes of Dr. John or the Allman Brothers. While they have jam band qualities, the Name Changers keep their sound spirited and driving.
They have a plethora of covers and originals and will begin the night with a song off their first album, “Wicked Island,” and a special cover will be throw in the mix, a song from David Gilmore called “On an Island” that James says the band has never had the “balls” to do, but, he says, “Now is the right time.” The songs mentioned are in accordance to a special themed show for the band’s first appearance on Cape Cod – celebrating with a nautical theme.
The band – made up of James on keys, Matt Lavigne on drums, Ben Hoadley on bass, Ben “Shredder” Faribank on guitar and a revolving cast of horn players from around the Northeast – has played routinely up in Maine and Boston and everywhere else on the East Coast, as well as numerous festivals, including, most notably, SXSW and nearly a slot on a Bonnaroo bill a couple years back. They have played alongside Northeast greats Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes).
The Name Changers will bring a production crew along with them that will feature a light show, and, if the weather is right, will have a special horn player traveling from New York.
For more info check out the band's website.