At this year’s Lollapalooza, there were a few shows that reeked of hype (read: Animal Collective). But one of the big highlights of the festival for me was the first show on the first day—The Henry Clay People. It was raining, but something about their show kept the crowd smiling. These guys clearly have a ’70s California Tom Petty/Warren Zevon influence in their sound, and that’s not something you come by very often these days.
But the best part of the show is when they dragged out a rock ‘n’ roll radio classic by one of the singer/songwriter greats: “Running On Empty” by Jackson Browne. I had never heard a classic rock song performed with such amazing energy (the only exception being the time I saw Bruce Springsteen). Maybe it was the way rock ‘n’ roll sounds in the rain, or maybe it was how the band managed to feed off the crowd. Either way, it was a wonderful performance. They would’ve been enormous in the ’70s. Today, they’re a killer festival band.
The Henry Clay People – “Something in the Water” (from For Cheap or For Free)
The Henry Clay People will be at Metro tomorrow night (Oct. 23) with The Airborne Toxic Event and Red Cortez. Here’s five from vocalist and guitarist Joey Siara.
1) Richard and Linda Thompson – “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” (from I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight) – “I have been obsessed with this song for a while. It’s a perfect combination of lyrical longing and musical feel. The horn section is a head scratcher in the best of ways. Everybody in the band falls in love with Linda Thompson by the end of the song.”
2) The Small Faces – “All or Nothing” (from From the Beginning) – “We’ve been wanting to cover this. Steve Marriott has a ridiculously soulful voice. I am also a huge fan of trashy recordings and this is one of the finest.”
3) The La’s – “There She Goes” (from The La’s) – “Whenever we hear this song we bust into giant band singalongs, which can last for hours. This song has a (sometimes annoying) way of sticking in your head. Resistance is futile.”
4) Jackson Browne – “Rosie” (from Running on Empty) – “This is an Andy pick. We listen to the Running on Empty album a lot. Every time Andy has to sound check his vocal mic, he sings this.”
5) Big Star – “Life is White” (from #1 Record Radio City) – “I just finished reading the Big Star biography and then the box set came out a few weeks later. I am a sucker for box sets. Radio City is one of my favorite albums and this song just does it for me.”