Richmond’s on the outside appears to be nothing more than your friendly neighborhood bar. Inside it seems everyone knows everyone and the coziness and atmosphere is relaxing. Their slogan the best wings, the best music, the best times was in full effect Tuesday evening as Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland was in the house.
Roland is currently involved with a new project which he calls Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project. Don’t be fooled by the band’s music, however. The reason Roland formed the band was to have an outlet to play songs that do not fit in the Collective Soul style of crunching guitars. The Sweet Tea Project has a vast eclecticism of instrumentation that features banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, and ukulele.
The equipment was set up in the rear of the tavern which left hardly any room for many to view the show in a normal manner due to the how narrow the bar is. It was almost like watching the five piece band play in a phone booth patrons and all.
However, it was the music we all came for and Roland and his band which included guitarists Christopher Alan Yates and Grant Reynolds, drummer Mike Rizzi and bassist Brian Briskey delivered quite a show despite cramped quarters.
The band featured most of the tracks from their recently released CD Devils ‘N Darlins including standouts “Love Won’t Bring Us Down,” the title track and the rocking “Just As I Am.”
For the encore drummer Rizzi and Roland came out and played the Collective Soul classic “The World I Know”. It was requested by Rizzi’s mom who was in the audience. Closing out the event was “Keep Looking Out Your Window” a song that brought the rest of the band back to the stage. Roland said the song should pop up on the band’s next album which they are already starting to write songs for.
Tuesday evening was a night many will remember for various reasons. Roland has stated how he wanted to build this band from the ground up old school style and plans to tour consistently for the next two years. The Sweet Tea Project is a band that probably won’t be playing many more taverns in the future. As demonstrated by this strong performance they’ll be needing much larger venues as anyone at Richmond’s can attest to.
Devils ‘N Darlins
Folsom Prison Blues
Going To Birmingham
Are You The Answer
Forget About Your Life
Pile Of Pearls
Keep Rolling Like A Wheel
Love Won’t Bring Us Down
Just As I Am
The World I Know
Looking Out Your Window