Roselit Bone (photo: SarahJayn Kemp)
Roselit Bone does not play to audiences content to stay at home on Tuesday nights.
The is not a small outfit, and the stage was bursting to contain them on this particular Tuesday evening. However, this wasn’t a case of quantity over quality. Each member held their own and them some. McCaslin, who appears to be part Freddie Mercury and part Cowboy Curtis, had a commanding presence. His bandmates flourished beside him, making creating music seem fun. It’s rare you see a band that’s so naturally inspirational like that.
They started their set with a moody walking number that had the buttery harmonies of early Marty Robbins, but the dark soul of Johnny Cash. It was too theatrical to fully fit into either legend’s wheelhouse — the drama was a little too fabricated even for Cash. However, the soul of the song was strong and alluring. It was a good preview of what was to come.
There are two types of country music that I enjoy: distressed and delighted. Country and western is nothing without emotional hyperbole, and Bone proved to be just as manic as the rest. Roselit Bone has swinging tempos that you can dance to — and many did. There was a duskiness to the knee-slapping, a gloom surrounding the foot-stomping. This pall only added to the intrigue and charm.
All in all, a very solid set from some fine folks from Portland.