What would happen if Calexico, Wilco and the Mountain Goats ended up at a 70s key party? The tri-product of that crazy evening would resemble the new direction that Michigan-based folk rock band Frontier Ruckus has embarked on.
SimplePlay Productions’ Tuesday night show at Gasa Gasa brought the Detroit natives back to New Orleans — the last time they were in town, opening for Moon Taxi at Tiptitina’s in May 2013. Also on the previous bill at Tipitina’s was Americana/Alternative Country/Indie band The Coyotes, who opened up for Frontier Ruckus again this visit. Mississipi-based rock band Water Liars‘ lead singer, Justin-Kinkel Schuster, joined The Coyotes as part of the opening acts.
Schuster kicked off the evening with a solo performance — a confident, soulful solid set, bringing each anguish and joy to the stage with his voice and acoustic guitar.
After a quick turnaround, the Coyotes took to the stage. Since their last NOLA show, the Coyotes have redefined their music, bringing a lap steal guitar into their sound, and added a fourth member, a new drummer, to the former three-person band. Their set included an even mix of the band’s older ep’s, as well as a few new tracks that will be coming out in 2015.
Following The Coyotes, Frontier Ruckus — on tour for their latest release, Sitcom Afterlife — performed a short but versatile set, and between tracks, the band provided brief, humorous explanations of each song.
Similar to The Coyotes, Frontier Ruckus have changed considerably since their 2013 Tipitina’s performance. The most significant change has been adding vocalist Anna Burch — whose voice complements that of the band’s other singer, Matthew Milia, effortlessly — to the group.
The evening ended on an exciting Bourbon performer-like note as the band broke the forth wall and came into the audience to do an acoustic rendition of “Dark Autumn Hour.” View an extended gallery here.