By Jason Robinson
The Cellar, established in Spartanburg, always hosts some of the most versatile acts around the area. This night was no exception, for it was Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers, with opening act and Asheville, North Carolina based, Brief Awakening. This is the venue were Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers were born and seems to be sort of a homecoming for the jam band. After a quick smoke break outside and a stroll over to the bar, I notice Kara-Lynn and Kat Petrucci, of Brief Awaking, were all set up and ready to play. I took a seat up front to listen to the duo play. It’s always exciting to hear a group you’ve never heard before. The set was melodic and dynamic, filled with harmony that was very uplifting. They were joined on stage, mid-set, by Hope Lucktenberg and her violin, to add more to the dynamic sound of the band. Lyrically, they seem to have some complex songwriting’s that fit the tone for them.
Next up was Rev. Syd and The Homewreckers who were filled with many surprises throughout the night. The group's line up consists of Sydney McMath, Sean Cronin, Tim Delisle and Adam Mast. This isn't your typical guitar, bass, drum, verse, chorus and verse sort of band. Instead, it’s a well-oiled machine that will have you clapping your hands and tapping your boots till the break of dawn. Sydney's range of voice along with a jam band, like that of the Homewreckers, is a great marriage that works. The cover of The Allman Brothers classic, “Whipping Post”, is a perfect example of how this band can hang with the big dogs. During the set, Daniel Zongrone (a.k.a. Daniel Z) sat in with the band to add some flavor with an instrument, that caught my attention, called the vibraphone or vibes, as was later described to me by Sydney. But, that wasn't the only surprise. A flute was added to this soup of groove by one Alison Turner Watson. Drummer and all around rocker, Sam Sprinkle (one third of The Twisted Trio), displayed his drumming skills to the audience of The Cellar. Gnarls Barkley's “Crazy” to a poetry reading by Sydney and Brett Klersfeld was proof of how diverse the group is, artistically. I recall someone shouting out, “play Freebird”, after a song that had some boogie- get down grooves from Sean Cronin's guitar. Without missing a beat and with no hesitation, Sydney responded with, “No, but I will play this” and broke into a soulful version of “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. This was yet another win in the live concert department.
I would like to thank The Cellar for hosting and the bands for providing the soundtrack to spring clocks forward. Be sure to check out the links for information on the bands and venue.
Rev. Syd and The Homewreckers
Brief Awakening Members:
Kat Arrants Petrucci- Keys/ Lead Soul Vox/ Synth/ Harmony/ delicious banter
Kara-Lynn Petrucci- Guitar/ Lead Angelic Vox/ mandolin/ Harmony/bass/Cheetah tail
Hope Lucktenburg- Violin/ Backing Vox/ Shining smiles
Booking Agent Kat Arrants Petrucci
Rev. Syd and the Homewreckers Members:
Sydney McMath, piano and vocals
Sean Cronin, guitar and vocals
Adam Mast, bass
Tim DeLisle, drums