Words by Matthew Hutchison | Photos by Brendon Crigler
Nashville’s All Them Witches current tour in support of their new album, Sleeping Through The War (New West Records) made its route through Orange County, CA to perform to a good size crowd at The Constellation Room. In their five years together, their productivity has resulted into four studio albums, two live albums and a slew of singles released themselves and through various labels. These guys are a machine, an efficient one if that, it seems the term “downtime” doesn’t exist in their world and their efforts are paying dividends with their name in demand worldwide. If this is the first time you may be reading about All Them Witches and need a reference point to get an idea of what they sound like, take these albums: Southern Rock sound of Eat A Peach (The Allman Brothers) throw in In Search Of Space (Hawkwind) and add the low- end heaviness of Blues For The Red Sun (Kyuss), close enough.
Opening up the show was their hometown counterparts Idle Bloom, who play a mix of garage sounding psyche pop. The “pop” mention was heard during their set but after checking out their debut record Little Death released back in February of this year, it was more in line with a later era Dinosaur Jr.
Around 10:00 p.m. All Them Witches came to the stage, quietly set up their gear and greeted the audience in a humble manner before opening with the ethereal n’ spacey track “Am I Going Up” off the new record. For the hour or so they played to the house, there wasn’t any pretension or showmanship displayed by these guys individually, only execution of their craft as a unit with their music the only means of communication. Throughout their set, there was an atmosphere in the crowd along the line of a spiritual experience, it’s uncommon to see people dancing and weaving in and out of each other’s paths during a stoner rock/blues band’s set. The calm demeanor of Charles Michael Parks [vocals/bass guitar] countered the overall intense presence coming from his stage right counterpart Ben McCloud [guitars] at times it seemed as if one wall of sound was being only made by those two between the pedal effects and periodic explosions of distortion coming from both rigs. Between Parks, McCloud and their towering battery man, Robby Staebler [drums/percussion], they made such tracks as “Dirt Preacher”, “Alabaster” “Bulls” and the stoner/blues infused “When God Comes Back” sound much heavier live than the records they appear on, completely overpowering the room. Allan Van Cleave [keys] adds a great dynamic to the band’s sound with his fluid and confident playing and demonstrated it profoundly throughout their set when his services were called upon. Upon completion of their final encore “Swallowed By The Sea”, the crowd enthusiastically called for more beyond the curfew. Two beers up!
All Them Witches
Am I Going Up
Death Of Coyote Woman
When God Comes Back
Blood & Sand/Milk & Endless Water
Don’t Bring Me Coffee
Swallowed By The Sea
For tour dates on this run, cruise over to All Them Witches official website for a full list.