BY ANNA LAROCCO MASI// Alternative rock group J. Roddy Walston and the Business are rolling into the 9:30 Club on Thursday, February 8.
The music of J. Roddy Walston and the Business summons the nostalgia of Southern living and hard rock with gospel roots. The Tennessee based band consists of guitarist Billy Gordon, bassist Logan Davis, drummer Steve Colmus, and founding member J. Roddy Walston, who plays piano and guitar, as well as providing vocals.
The group released their first EP in 2002, but it was not till 2007 that they released their first full length album. It was that year that they signed with Vagrant Records., who have put to words something many interviewers have noted, the band members “seem perpetually a day removed from a shower.”
Their most recent LP, Destroyers of the Soft Life, was released in 2017. Music critics have called the album a door opener and a fresh modern take to their earlier work. When J Roddy is not touring with his band, I imagine he is playing with his dog or watching his wife perform as a professional opera singer.
Walston and the Business’s sound can be described as root rock, southern rock, or classic rock. They are known to have high energy concerts with dynamic and diverse rock and roll sounds. Their performances are very piano driven, and if you like to see a man beat a piano, then this is a show you do not want to miss. “Heavy Bells” is one of the most popular tracks in their discography, but my favorites would be “Don’t Break the Needle” or “Sally Bangs”.
The band is personally nostalgic to me for multiple reasons. First, because they are influenced by the environment of Lee University, a college campus I frequented in my youth summer camp days in which I accidentally unlit the “eternal flame.” Secondly, because when I saw them in high school, I crashed my car into a garden store just weeks after getting my license. Back then they opened up for Cage the Elephant; now they are the main act.
As someone who has previously seen them live, I can attest that J. Roddy Walston and the Business rock the house. To see for yourself, you can buy tickets here.