Bonnaroo preview – J Roddy Walston & The Business

These bluesy roadhouse rockers evoke the sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Led Zepplin, or a Jack White jam session with a case of beer.  The buzz is out about them with recent write ups from NPR, Hear Ya, The New York Times (though that is really more about their touring van), & The Washington Post.  Lead-man Walston (originally from Tennessee, but relocated to Baltimore) pounds the piano with a fervor like he never wants to give up.  In the Washington Post article, he talks about lugging the piano around to venues across the country.  His great line in the interview was when asked if it would be easier to take a keyboard with him instead, “I play Piano, not a keyboard”.

They have a self-titled LP released by Vagrant Records (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros & The Hold Steady), but this band is really one of those “you have to see them live” acts.  They will have a chance to impress a lot of people with appearances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, All Good Festival, and Lebowski Fest (what Walston calls “the coolest of the nerd fests”).  Here in the Nashville area, we will be lining up for them at Bonnaroo where they will perform on Saturday, June 11th at Cafe Where? from 9:30 to 10:30 pm.

Despite the different crowds they’ll encounter, Walston is counting on the band’s honesty and excitement to win over unsuspecting audiences.  “What people are reacting to is that it’s authentic,” he says. “We’re not putting on a rock-and-roll mask.”  Good thing, because that mask would be filled with sweat in about 30 seconds.  – The Washington Post, 29 April 2011

To get more acquainted with the rocking sound, check out their awesome Daytrotter session, their page on the Bonnaroo website, their Black Star Session, and the links to a couple of songs and a video for “Use Your Language” below.  You can also grab a free mp3 of “Jesus Gonna Do His Best” over at their website.

Use Your Language


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