When it comes to a band called The Record Company, you’d expect music that pays homage to the bluesy grit and rock ‘n’ roll of dusty old vinyl records recorded in someone’s living room. Lucky for us, this L.A. trio is just that.
Established in 2011, The Record Company, made up of main vocalist/steel guitarist Chris Vos, bassist Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla, knows what it means to create raw, untouched and entirely infectious music. With influences ranging from John Lee Hooker, The Stooges and the Rolling Stones, the band puts on no gimmicks. They’re just three guys sitting in their bass player’s living room hanging microphones around and producing a demo that would turn into their debut record Give It Back To You, released under Concord Records just this past February.
At the start of their May California tour, The Record Company arrived to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco this past Thursday night.
Fresno band Strange Vine opened, and for good reason. The duo, consisting of just one drummer and guitarist offering harmonizing vocals, powered through their set with heavy-rolling drum percussions, the occasional backing keyboard track and a gritty guitar. Their set was everything basement blues and grunge music and prepared the audience well for The Record Company.
The Record Company came on with an electric start.
“Get ready to party with The Record Company,” the announcer stated. And that’s just what the crowd did.
The trio opened with three powerful rock ‘n’ roll tunes before announcing themselves as The Record Company.
Frontman Vos rocked around the stage, sitting and singing with his lap steel guitar, picking up his acoustic while blowing into his harmonica and strumming his acoustic while twirling on one-foot during song breaks. He’d pick up a retro handheld mic offering fuzzy vocals and yell into the audience proclaiming that he “Feels So Good.”
In softer songs like “Rita Mae Young,” Cazorla played a groovier snare-driven beat on his Ludwig drum kit while Stiff’s bass line was at the front. Vos added his lap steel licks and soulful voice while he sang a song that pays homage to true blues music, crooning for a lady called Rita who has gone.
The band’s rock ‘n’ blues spirit shined through Stiff’s funky bass fills and backing vocals to songs like “Hard Day Coming Down.” Cazorla’s heavy, hard-hitting beats made the audience sway and continually shout their “ow-ow’s” to the band.
Before playing their single “Off The Ground,” Vos mentioned to the crowd, “We have to give thanks for stations like KFOG for playing our music.”
In an interview with KFOG that same day at the Levi’s Lounge, Vos expressed his gratitude for radio stations for playing and supporting local music.
“To get the kind of support that we’ve gotten from a station like this is something that’s not lost on us,” he said.
It’s not often you come across a band who genuinely does what they do while paying homage to the classic rock ‘n’ blues music of yesteryear. Their music is fresh, dirty and gritty while still making you feel good.
You can bob your head to their hard-hitting drum beats, groove to their funky bass lines or make a stank face to their rolling blues licks (I know I did). Whatever the case, The Record Company delivered some real rock ‘n’ roll Thursday night, and their energy was definitely not amiss.
If you’re looking for a band that knows how to get a party started but also deliver some really great rock ‘n’ roll-inspired moments, The Record Company is a fresh face to that scene.
This article was featured on KFOG Radio.