Josh Roberts & the Hinges

[media-credit name=”” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Local band brings more than just rock ‘n’ roll to Buffington’s

Local favorites Josh Roberts and the Hinges held a concert at Buffington’s to release their new album, “Mighty Old Distance and Murky Old Time.”

“The title comes from the lyrics on a song called ‘Just Like this Love,’” Roberts said. “I like to pick little phrases from songs on the album to use.”

The concert, which occurred last Saturday, lasted four hours, rocking from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Truck Stop Darlin’ opened up for the headlining act. Their first two songs blasted from the stage amplifiers, alerting everyone up and down the street that good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll was playing at Buffington’s.

Then came the main act of the night. The group consisted of Josh Roberts on guitar and lead vocals, Leslie Branham on guitar and backing vocals, Corey Stephens on bass with supporting vocals, Robert Walker on guitar with vocals and Dennis Ware on drums. By the time Josh Roberts and the Hinges were finished doing a soundcheck, the crowd grew to a small mob that was restless with anticipation. Roberts had a rather interesting explanation for the genre of the band.

“All we ever say is rock ‘n’ roll,” Roberts said. “Every time people ask us for information, we just say rock n’ roll, because although it isn’t specific and doesn’t describe much, it describes everything.”

When midnight rolled around, the college football games were over and all the attention was on the five-piece band under the lights. The once-seated fans crowded the small area near the stage to have the local favorites throw down recognizable jams. The small stage barely held the five band members, but their stage presence seemed to fill the entire bar.

Many songs showcased Josh’s virtuoso guitar abilities. Josh surely worked the crowd with short intervals of quiet lyrics with no instrumentals, adding a very intimate feel to the song. The band leader worked the crowd the entire night, especially as drummer Dennis Ware thundered booming drum fills. At this point, the majority of the bar’s patrons flocked to the front of the stage to rock with the band.

The perennial smoke rising may have been from cigarettes, amplifiers or everyone’s ears, but the only sure fact is that the extensive solo work from Josh on guitar and Corey on bass astounded even their most loyal fans. The sheer debauchery bursting out of the speakers at the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and cheers once the wall of sound finally broke.

After a short break consisting of band member introductions, the band erupted into the next song, which included the most audience interaction all night. With a slow breakdown from their usual up-tempo jams, Josh led all in attendance as they chanted the lyrics, ending with a rousing chorus from Josh and the crowd.

Throughout the night, the band flashed signs of their folk roots, with deep story-telling lyrics detailing specifics of a character’s struggle with life, love and other problems. Their new album features layering of vocals, adding new depth to their lyrical choruses. They show that they don’t just depend on face-melting solos to please a crowd, but they are multi-dimensional in their songwriting and performing abilities.

A triumphant chant ended the night with a “La-de-dah” sing along shared between the band and audience members.

Several students were in attendance, including freshman undeclared major Taylor Dixon.

“The atmosphere was amazing,” Dixon said. “The band performed each song beautifully, and I enjoyed every second of it.”

Overall, Josh Roberts and the Hinges is a highly energetic live band. Their stage presence, rocking riffs, emotional performances and improvised instrumentals bring the band to a whole new level.

The energy the band emits off the stage and shares with every member of the audience is an experience unachievable any other way than experiencing them live.

Josh Roberts and the Hinges’ new album shows the evolution of the band, musically and lyrically. Time flew by during the two hour set.

“We’ve played four hours before in Key Largo, in the sun, so we’ll do anything from 45-minute opening sets to four hour long shows,” Stephens, the group’s bassist, said.

The album release show was a big hit, as a small mob of people flocked around the booth where Josh’s brother was selling band merchandise. The band recently signed with CIA records and will be recording a new album at the beginning of 2013.

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