On Saturday, June 20th, the band Goodbye June rolled into Raleigh and stopped at the City Limits Saloon Raleigh underneath Goodnights Comedy Club. You may not have heard about these boys yet, but get ready, ’cause they’ll soon be opening for the veteran rock group, ZZ Top. And they have the hair and the chops to do it!
The band consists of guitarist Tyler Baker and his two cousins, Brandon Qualkenbush and Landon Milbourn. The trio spent years performing Christian rock before having their own “come to Jesus” moment when Tyler’s brother Shane died in a car accident. After his death, the band revisited their musical direction and converted to straight up rock and roll. Along with a new bassist and drummer, they began touring the country and abroad as Goodbye June. While Kurt Benrud and I began as novices in their faith, we quickly became followers.
Their songs defy pigeon-holing, which is one of their strengths. When asked to describe their music in one word, Landon said it would have to be “honest”. I agree. I would also offer “Whiskey, Neat.” Okay, that’s two words; but they fit. From the gentle “Breathe Easy” to the rockabilly-esque “Shreds of Lightning” to the Southern anthem rock “Out of Your Mind,” their songs feel like drinking a shot of the finest whiskey — tasty on the tongue, with some surprising bite, followed by a warm rush of a finish. This is straight up rock, but these boys have no rough edges to snag on. Oh, and they are easy on the eyes, too!
Saturday night, the band had a challenge ahead of them: winning over City Limits’ patrons, who looked like they just two-stepped out of the Debra Winger/John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy. There were more boots and skirts per square foot in that bar than can be found in the whole of the Triangle. In other words, this did not appear to be this rock band’s crowd.
Thankfully, Goodbye June’s undeniable talent easily won them over. Folks responded visibly to the driving rhythms and feel of the band, and were clearly awakened by the razor-sharp guitar licks of Tyler and Brandon and then Landon’s vocals. Unfortunately, the venue’s p.a. system was not up to the challenge, and song lyrics were lost in a haze. This was a shame, because Lord Have Mercy, this guy can sing! Landon’s vocals are a cross between Sammy Hagar, Eddie Vedder, and Corey Glover of Living Colour, with a sexy warble and throaty quality that fits beautifully with the tight guitars. I particularly loved the rush of the slide guitar and the back beats that flavor this band’s sound.
The show was only an hour, but the band gave it their all. Afterward, clearly star-struck fans rushed over to snap pics with them, and the girls thrust Sharpies into the boys’ hands to have them sign CDs and various naughty bits. If that ain’t rock ‘n’ roll, we don’t know what is.
Note 1: Goodbye June’s first album, entitled “Nor The Wild Music Flow,”is on sale now; and the band can be found at music festivals across the country. They are currently recording their yet-untitled sophomore effort with Grammy-nominated Paul Moak. While the title is top secret for now, it won’t be for long. Watch for it!
Note 2: Pamela Vesper and Kurt Benrud review all forms of arts and entertainment for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment. Watch for them, too.
GOODBYE JUNE (City Limits Saloon Raleigh, June 20 underneath Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh, NC).
SHOW: http://hellyeahraleigh.com/goodbye-june-saturday-june-20th/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1603224856590206/.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://hellyeahraleigh.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CityLimitsRal https://twitter.com/citylimits_ral.
Goodbye June (Nashville, TN-based rock band): http://www.goodbyejune.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeJune (Facebook page), and https://twitter.com/goodbyejune (Twitter page).
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Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Click here to read her reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.