7th Direction :: 02.16.05 :: Slim's :: San Francisco, CA
The jam scene in San Francisco is alive and flourishing. Every night it is possible to see a new band looking to get a little recognition and gain an audience in the small bars and clubs around town. Such is the case with 7th Direction, a five-piece Americana-rock band made up of veterans of the local scene and a couple of relatively young guys as well. Their opening slot at Slim's was well attended for an early set, and this night they invited venerable sax man Martin Fierro along for the ride.
7th Direction :: 2.16 :: San Francisco
7th Direction was formed in 2000 when songwriters Cory Brown and Asaaf Jaffe teamed up to write and perform. After a few personnel changes, the band is currently comprised of Brown on vocals and guitar, Jaffe on bass, Phil McGee adding vocals and lead guitar (Steve Kimock, Zero, and others), Phil Hodges on the drumkit (Taos Hum), and Mike Goodin on vocals and keys (Grasshoppers).
The band got its groove going early, opening their set with the upbeat "No More," an original tune by Cory Brown. Following that was McGee singing the traditional country ballad "Hurricane", for which 7th Direction won a JamBase Best of 2003 Extravaganza Award. Another driving Brown tune, "Get In Line," brought the funky rock with Phil McGee and Martin Fierro trading increasingly dynamic guitar and sax licks back and forth across the stage.
Goodin & Fierro :: 2.16 :: San Francisco
Next up, McGee's bluesy tune "Outskirts of Paradise" got the crowd moving with heavy interplay and deft chops. Once again Martin contributed some prime sax leads to the mix. The next tune, the Mike Goodwin penned "Sunday in the Morning," started out as a quiet, folky ballad but then turned all rock and roll. Inspired by The Who and dedicated to the memory of Keith Moon, "All the Rain" was a straight-up rock anthem highlighted by the hard drumming of Phil Hodges. Closing their set was Goodwin's "Like This," a sweet melodic tune that takes a fast bluegrass turn into a rollicking dance number.
7th Direction is a band on the move with all the right stuff to gain notoriety in the jam world, if they can only find their audience. Their musicianship is strong, and the vocals are inspired. Good songwriting from four different pens is also a plus. Look for a new CD of original music to be released soon.
Words & Images by: Susan J. Weiand
JamBase | San Francisco
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