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SIXTY WATT SHAMAN / SPIRIT CARAVAN /
THE BAKERTON GROUP
Fletcher's; Baltimore, MD; 11/05/99

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Who could pass up a night of heavy rock and stoner rock? Not me, that's for sure! Besides it turned out to be the "Night Of The Les Paul." A Gibson Les Paul guitar graced the stage at all times tonight - the wonderfully crafted and deep-toned Les Paul guitar is critical to the thick and heavy sounds of heavy rock that are favored by heavy rock and stoner rock bands.

First up was The Bakerton Group. As we all know, The Bakerton Group is Tim, Dan, and Jean-Paul from Clutch. Without Neil on vocals, The Bakerton Group is free to jam and rock out. The Bakerton Group stays true to the heavy rock sounds you'd be familiar with from hearing a Clutch record, but with more free-form instrumentation. Tim, Dan, and Jean-Paul mix a healthy helping of heavy rock, jazz slants, and elements of groovy stoner vibes that result is a satisfying concoction of tunes that have space to breathe as well as a serve as a foundation for improvisation. Some of their selections included instrumental versions of "Who Wants To Rock?" and cover-song deluxe "Steamboat Upside Down."

Check out Clutch's website at http://www.pro-rock.com/clutch.htm to keep abreast of The Bakerton Group's activities.

The second act of the night was Spirit Caravan. The legendary Wino (St. Vitus, The Obsessed) led this trio through a set of raw, rough tunes that highlight the band's ability to attack the groove with a '70s flair for mood and a '90s sensibility for power. It's a good point to note that everybody from Jay Yunger of White Zombie to Henry Rollins to Phil Anselmo has raved about Wino and his guitar slinging abilities. Bassist Dave Sherman and drummer Gary Isom rounded out the band allowing Wino to blast melodic leads on nearly ever song - Wino was blazing all night with a sound that was as serious as a heart attack.

To learn more about Spirit Caravan visit http://www.southern.com/southern/band/SPCAR/index.html which is the band's official label website.

Closing out the night was the up-and-coming Sixty Watt Shaman. For the most part Sixty Watt Shaman have been touring the country relentlessly since I last saw them in March 1999. And guess what? These guys have gotten tighter, more creative, and even more spectacular! If the captivating manner in which their set was played out is a sign of things to come then the stoner rock scene will have new heavyweights to brag about.

Sixty Watt Shaman were impressive with the delivery of their songs. The songwriting displays acumen, a proper sense of drama, and emotional depth; the bona fide quality of Sixty Watt Shaman shines through at every moment. Vocalist Daniel Kerzwick has a simple yet masterful stage presence. Bassist Reverend Jim and guitarist Joseph Selby were locked in all night by getting the lock-step groove to be tight and groovy at the same time. Drummer C. Joseph Dukehart was as solid as a rock.

It's not hard to believe that Sixty Watt Shaman's new record deal with Spitfire Records is the result of many months of hard work. Lucky for us all, Sixty Watt Shaman started recording their new disc the next day. Jean-Paul of Clutch will be producing - yet another cause for celebration. Mark my words, if the new material they've perfected over the last six months is any indication of what's to come then the new disc will rock our collective worlds for years to come. There's a new sound coming and Sixty Watt Shaman are going to be leaders.

Keep your eyes on Spitfire's official label website at http://www.spitfirerecords.com/ for more news about Sixty Watt Shaman's upcoming events.

The lack of pretense and communal vibe made this a great night for all. As many people at the show tonight said, "it's all about the music."


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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.