If you were really jonesing for live music this weekend, you could just go to The Camel on Sunday around noon and stay for the next twelve hours since they have three shows going on that day. But since most people don’t have 12 hours to spare, I’ll limit my recommendation to just one of those shows: the diverse night bill starting at 9:15 headed up by Fulton Lee with Ban Hatton and The Talkies underneath.
I didn’t know much about Fulton Lee from Nashville, TN before this week, but after finding their self-titled EP on Bandcamp released this past January, I’ve been semi-obsessing over their music while doing spreadsheets at work. I just put the EP on repeat for a few hours and let my mind float in the air of retro corner soul they’re blowing. I’ve been on a big ’60s soul/R&B kick this year ever since diving into Major Lance a few months ago and this is a perfect continuation of that classy and timeless Sam Cooke/Four Tops sound. You should really check out that whole EP (right here) before the show if you want — three songs, 10 minutes long meaning you can listen multiple times in a single sitting — but at the very least, give a listen to “Say” and get a good sense of the type of soulful rock you’re going to be hearing at The Camel.
Ban Hatton is also on this show, a really talented and astute songwriter that definitely deserves more attention in town. His album Walls has been out for a few years now, but if you’re unfamiliar, it’s a perfect time to dive into this collection of really vibrant yet intimate songs. As always, I say just put the record on and let his music do the talking, but if you need a recommendation of a song or two first, you can’t go wrong with “Going Home” and “Backed By The River.” If you’re someone who enjoys that James Taylor and Tom Petty style of songwriting, then this is definitely the music for you. If you’re like me though and can be pretty apathetic towards those two legends (sorry not sorry), don’t worry — this music drifts away from those two points plenty of times on the record, and even when he doesn’t, the result is still damn enjoyable.
And opening the whole show up is The Talkies, a group I guess I don’t really need to say anything about since others are doing it for me. Drew has mentioned my feelings on them before on this site, and Karen Newton over at Style Weekly did as well in this article from earlier this month. So instead of laying superlatives on them again (which they 100% deserve), I’ll just point you to a few songs that should really entice you to show up to at the start of this show on Sunday. “Popular On Paper,” “Black Bile,” “Emotion Sickness.” And then there’s “Graner Cards,” one of the absolute best songs of 2016 that’s as invigorating as it is incisive. No lie, I probably listen to this song almost every day.
Retro soul, Americana, and shoegaze grunge all in one show this Sunday night at The Camel. Monday’s going to suck anyway, so why not stay out late the night before and catch some great music? Sounds like a great way to kick off the week to me.
Friendly reminder: RVA Must-See Shows is a free (and great!) resource for the local music fan, so why not contribute to ensure its wonderful creator/editor/amazing person has the means to keep it going? $1 a month from each reader is more than enough to keep the wheels moving so take this plea under consideration and donate if you can over at https://www.patreon.com/rvamustseeshows.