The Garage was the site of a dual CD Release Party on Friday night, January 18. The superb talents of Doug Davis & The Solid Citizens and Vel Indica both had new musical platters for sale and gave Garage-goers a live representation of each disc, in-full.
The evening started with the Solid Citizens and their fearless leader, Mr. Davis. Doug performed his new EP, A Pageant of Gold front to back. The tunefully tight renditions of the performance showcased the legend that Doug Davis, the songwriter, will become. The accompaniment of local guitar god Lee Terry, bassist Ken Mohan, and “Gentleman” Dan DeNoyers was further highlighted by the triumphant “re-citizienship” of returning violist Susan Terry, who adds the texture that any fan of Davis’ previous album, Penny Brown Penny, and performances is surely accustomed to. Also featured during the show was saxophonist and harmonica-blower Kirk Vernon, who has also become a Davis staple. After the full EP was performed, Davis showcased tunes from Penny and songs from the 3 upcoming EPs he plans to release in succession. Highlights of this performance were “June Parade,” “Why We Fought,” and “All Too Good.” Americana artist Davis with his Solid Citizens showed that solid isn’t just a clever name but a pertinent description.
Vel Indica, a trio from Winston-Salem, released their first full-length album, Turn Off Your Devices. They performed the album in sequence with the exception of the last two songs which were reciprocated.
The band featured members Ken Simonds on bass, the multi-talented Karrie Sheehan on drums and some backing vocals and band leader and lyrical-genius, Patrick Ferguson on lead vocals and guitars. Also, Lee & Susan Terry joined along with Doug Davis who played keyboards (also the producer of Devices) for the entire show. From the moment Vel Indica hit the stage there was energy in the crowd. A sound that mimics a blend of The Decemberists, Radiohead, The Police and sprinkles of punk, the electricity was clearly not lost on the captivated audience. The atmosphere on stage and the aural delights that came from it were ethereal; buzzing. Vel Indica with their accompanists perfectly recreated the album they were promoting and perhaps exceeded its wonder, capping the set, appropriately, with Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage/Eclipse.”
Finishing up the bill was Lions & Liars. This quartet was quirky and punky and showed their youthful zeal in their songs. The band features young hipsters Graham Howard on guitar, Spencer Brown on drums, Philip Howard on bass and usually, Colton Brown on vocals. However, for the night Colton was out of town and band chum James Brunson filled in and did a fantastic job. Brunson genuinely seemed happy to be there. The late crowd was thinning but L&L didn’t stop bringing it.
All the acts were marvelous; however the highlight of the night was indeed Vel Indica. The “Reverend” Ferguson had the congregation on their feet and moved them with the spirit of music. You know the band is doing something awesome when the entire crowd is singing along to VI original, “Roman Candle” while swaying, enchanted. The entire night was a music lovers paradise and the Garage is the place in town to get intimate atmosphere with unique surroundings and showcases that truly rock the world.