What an incredible night over at Mercy Lounge for local bluesy soul rockers Luella & The Sun on Friday. Lines formed early and the room reached capacity by the midway point in the night. Things got started with another fun set from the busy band of the weekend, James Wallace & The Naked Light (James & Co. also took part in the Outlines festival on the west side on Saturday). One of the surprises on the night were brother and sister outfit DUGAS, who are reminiscent of Grace Potter with a bit more twang. What a powerful voice. Webb Wilder took over afterwards and, with the help of Luella guitarist and event beneficiary Joe McMahan, blew through some blues standards to the delight of the crowd. We dipped out momentarily during Altered Statesman set to check out a bit of local funnyman Steve Lee with his YUMZAH! set over at The High Watt which featured a couple of songs with local standout Alanna Quinn Broadus. We got back in time to catch the end of Altered Statesman’s bluesy set as yet another of McMahan’s many projects. Luella Bassist Adam Bednarik and drummer John Radford joined Justin Townes Earle for the night’s primary sing along. I’ve had the opportunity to see JTE a couple of times now, and his powerful voice and emotive lyrics had the crowd snapping pictures and singing along with the enigmatic songwriter. By the time Luella took the stage, the beer specials from Blue Moon and Leinenkugel had the crowd giddy, but that couldn’t have prepared them for the raw power that Luella and the band brought. We’ve seen Luella & The Sun quite a few times now, and, like a fine wine, they continue to improve with age. Los Colognes took us home with their laid back rock sounds, and it was the perfect end to a perfect evening. As Joe and Luella said from the stage, thanks to everyone who came out and all of the sponsors that made the evening possible. It was a pretty incredible event that we were honored to be involved with, and, based on the money raised, it looks like we may get a Luella & The Sun full length sooner rather than later.
You can check out some photos from our newest photographer, Jake Giles Netter, who captured quite a bit of the fun for you.