The beautiful Rose Bar at The Gramercy Hotel was the warm and intimate setting for JD & The Straight Shot's album release show for their latest, all acoustic offering, Ballyhoo!, which was released on January 15th.
Frontman James Dolan, (owner the Knicks and Executive Chairman of MSG) who started the band over a decade ago, was accompanied by guitarists Marc Copely and Aidan Dolan, bassist Byron House, violinist Erin Slaver and a percussionist.
"Release the beast....Ballyhoo!", Dolan said prior to playing a selection of songs from the new album which blends Americana, Folk and Blues. The short set started off with "Empty" and from there flowed easily as the sextet are able to successfully bring the songs off a record to life in a live setting. While JD’s weathered voice feels as if it has lived, Copley’s and the younger Dolan’s harmonies brought a certain something to the songs, adding a 70’s feel to the air. The lead number was followed by "Under That Hood," a song inspired by Trayvon Martin, and "Glide," which was influenced by his son's excitement for the annual Spring Fair on Long Island. Other selections of the night included "Perdition" and "Hard To Find" (both of which earned film placements), Spirit's "Nature's Way" and the title track which was inspired by the freak show in an 18thC carnival, leading JD to note about their material, "This is as weird as it gets." The night closed with album highlight, "Better Find A Church," on which Slaver displayed a vocal ability to rival her prowess on the violin.
JD & The Straight Shot are headed to the UK for a string of dates at the end of the month. For more information and to purchase Ballyhoo! Visit their official website.