Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons – Concert Review

Soul. It’s a musical quality few try to describe, but anyone can recognize. I won’t even attempt in this post, because I instead have a great example. Washington D.C.’s Black Cat hosted Wisconsin’s Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons on Friday night. The folk-rock group took the stage opening for one of my long-time favorites, Murder by Death. The evening was full of excited stomping from the crowd, searing guitar licks, and plenty of cans of PBR.

Whereas Murder by Death write exciting tails of devils and zombies, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons’ music comes from a more introspective place. And unlike some young folk/country/roots rockers these days (I shan’t name names), I didn’t doubt for a moment the authenticity and inspiration behind the tunes. These songs could have only come from a man born and bred in the midwest. Cory Chisel is quite the charismatic frontman (with a great set of pipes), and the other band members provide the sound that took me to do a different time and place. I’m a sucker for some hearty organ, and Adriel Harris certainly delivers!

“Just stay the night / nobody wants you to leave”, Cory belts out on the groups latest single, “I’ve Been Accused”. Give the track one listen, and tell me that line doesn’t stay in your head for days. It’s the perfect blend of folk, country, and rock, with traces of gospel sprinkled in. For someone who has been an avowed hater of country pop for life, trust me- these guys are no formulaic corporate darlings. Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons are fantastic musicians who should be experienced live, and I hope to hear more from them for years to come.

Check out “I’ve Been Accused” over at the band’s homepage,