7Horse | 05.03.16

These guys played a raw set with no tricks or gimmicks: no auto-tuning, sampling, or fat.


The Demo, St. Louis

Glendale, Calif.’s power duo 7Horse brought their powerful tonic of swampy, sweaty, voodoo rock to the intimate confines of The Demo Tuesday night. A small crowd of diehard fans was treated to a hot, rock n’ roll medicine show that was a powerful balm for the ears, eyes, and soul.

Touring behind the duo’s randily titled disc, Livin’ in a Bitch of a World, as well as playing selections from their other two excellent full-length releases, the duo—drummer/vocalist Phil Leavitt and guitarist/vocalist Joie Calio (both of ’90s rock band Dada)—commanded the stage and rumbled the rafters with their blend of rootsy, blues-inspired white soul and alternative noise. Unlike many bands that sound great on record but don’t translate live, 7Horse is a massively deadly live band. In fact, they are one of the few bands in need of a live album.

Calio prowled the stage like a lean panther. Whether it was switching from a Gretsch to a Fender, or from slide to dobro, he threw off tasty slide playing a lá Jimmy Page or Robert Johnson, or laid down granite-solid riffs; he was a focal point. Leavitt, on the other hand, was poetry in motion. Not only is he a gifted vocalist and showman, but he plays the drums like nobody’s business. I must admit, I have a soft spot and admiration for drummer/singers.

The 11-song set was all killer and no filler. They played some new cuts, including the distortion-soaked title track; a hilarious and fun-hearted cover of the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive”; and the infectious, hooky, and bare bones stab of “Two-Stroke Heart.” The latter sounds like it would be right at home on a Rolling Stones album. Another highlight included the Zeppelin slide and thunderous bash of closing number, “Meth Lab ZOSO Sticker.” These guys played a raw set with no tricks or gimmicks: no auto-tuning, sampling, or fat.

In a just world, 7Horse would be playing arenas and you’d be hearing their feel-good anthems all over the radio. If they’re coming to your town, saddle up—and giddy up! | Doug Tull

Set List
Low Fuel Drug Runner
Headhunter Blues
Livin’ in a Bitch of a World
Two-Stroke Heart
One Week
Please Come on Home
Stick to the Myth
A Friend in Weed
Stayin’ Alive
Answer the Bell
Meth Lab ZOSO Sticker

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply