Show Review: The Black Tones Unveil Long-Awaited Debut Album Release at Chop Suey
The Black Tones, a trio, fronted by Eva Walker with twin brother Cedric Walker on drums, blend, soul, gunge and blues in an classically bold manner.
The Black Tones laid it all out at last nights electric Cobain and Cornbread Album Release concert setting up an impressive line up opening with the acoustic fire of Payge Turner, and Rock/Grove band Black Ends. With mom, sister, and others getting up to lead the crowd in claps, it was a fest full of love and support sending organic smiles across everyone faces, performers and participants. Kicking off their set with a platter of fresh-baked cornbread, the night felt like a cross between thanksgiving at Grandma's house and your favorite rock concert all wrapped into one perfectly curated evening.
The All Black women led event attracted one of the most diversely supported audiences seen in Seattle, bringing in everyone from rappers to rockers all in attendance, all rocking out as one accord altogether.
Playing to a sold out crowd, the energy in the room was supportive and at that perfect place of sheer magic.
The Black Tones strutted through an impressive set, playing the complete album from top to bottom with style and ease. A stand out moment, and equally endearing was the acoustic duet cover of Adina Howard's staple "Freak Like Me" by Walker and her Mother. Their souring vocals led every lung in the room to belt out the song, and it was a definitive moment hearing where Eva gets her iconic vibrato from, with her and sing in powerful unison with the woman who gave her life. Another special guest moment was the invitation of long time friend of the band Alaia D' Alessandro of Tres Leches to the show.
With the success of recent singles such as " Mama! There's A Spider In My Room"--- where Eva Walker loving shared her story to the crowd of her absolute disdain for the eight legged little friends, ranking them at No. 2 on her list of things most despised, second only to the KKK--and other favorites of the well-cultivated fan base like the anthemic "The Key of Black (They Want us Dead)". The Black Tones created the best singalong album release concert of all time. Its the singings along and crowd participation that makes something memorable and The Black Tones's Family Affair event did just that.
The Black Tones offer more than just rock: their concerts offer a beautifully delivered tour of the Black Story, Black Liberation and Black History. As they know that Black ingenuity created the building blocks to the genres we listen to today, from Rock, to Pop, House to Hip Hop, it's the Blues that's so visceral and so palpable; that The Black Tones embody and perform so well that adds to the already unmistakable cultural,musical and categorically, human, treasure they really are.
When the old time spiritual "Rivers of Jordan" (track No. 5)was played they brought out the harmonic and stomped out the blues like legends of New Orleans, leading the jam packed crowd into a joyous and hopeful rendition of the song.
Towards the end of the set, Eva effortlessly showcased her true musicianship and performance skills, pulling off a strikingly dynamic, behind-the-head- guitar solo, in perfect synchronicity with Twin Brother's bombastic drums, sending the crowd into Rock heaven, crating a unmistakable moment of sheer organic uproar.
Their raw talent, energy and incredibly endearing personable qualities all shined bright, at different moments but always right on time. At the end of the show Eva and Cedric stayed till late greeting friends and fans alike at the album signing tables near the rear.
Listen to their masterpiece, Cobain and Cornbread here.