Thursday night Leslie Rich played at the Whiskey Junction. My only regret is that it wasn’t a later show – one where folks might get up and dance. Leslie Rich plays fun, super dance-able rock music. By the end of the show there were a few folks on out on the floor, which is pretty impressive for an early gig on a school night. But two hours later, we have all been up there.
Originally from Belfast, Rich moved to the US in 2004 and makes Minneapolis his home. Previously he had played with several bands in Belfast and a few in Minnesota, including Hounds of Finn, which as you might surmise from the name pulls strongly from his Irish roots. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his new setup. Turns out it’s there’s not a lot of traditional Irish music to be found; it’s just straight up rock.
There are hints of punk (which I guess you could say was like Stiff Little Fingers) and bits of folk (easy comparison would be Van Morrison and while I’m sure there’s an influence the musical similarities aren’t direct) but it’s really rock.
There’s often a slow build to the songs (as in Kidder’s Son) that sets the story of the song then the rest of the band hops on and we’re off to the races. He plays with Pete Boulger on the drums and Jason Wahl on bass. They have been performing as Rocket Soul Choir since 1997. The experience shows. The music weaves like an intricate tapestry, each member with a colored thread creating its own design that comes together to make the experience more interesting for the audience.