Sol Driven Train

Live on the Outer Banks


Last week, Charleston workhorses Sol Driven Train celebrated the official release of their first live album, a double-length, 14-song collection titled Live on the Outer Banks. It’s their fourth disc and probably their strongest, most accurate effort yet. Recorded in front of a lively audience last November at the Outer Banks Brewing Station, the album shuffles from style to style — reggae, soul, funk-rock, melodic modern rock. It captures the band’s strongest elements: tight horn arrangements (sax man Russell Clarke and trombonist/guitarist Ward Buckheister sound like well-seasoned veterans) and complex, unforced vocal harmonies. Drummer Phill Eason’s crisp accents and tasteful cymbal work tie in perfectly with (new) bassist Rusty Cole’s precise bass licks and lines. It’s easy to compare all the grooviness to the Dave Matthews Band, which many locals do. But the DMB, with all their superfluous solos and fills and over-the-top vocal shenanigans, could listen and learn from this disc. –T. Ballard Lesemann

Sol Driven Train leave this week for a two-week tour of Georgia and the Carolinas. Their next local gig is on Fri. Feb. 23 at Barrier Island Surf Shop.





Polished, balanced, and radio-ready, Savannah-based reggae/alt-rock quartet Passafire’s self-titled album is worth a listen. Fronted by singer/guitarist and main songwriter Ted Browne, Passfire’s peppery rock style is heavy and assertive, driven by bright guitar ‘n’ snare work, thumping bass lines, and a cool organ sound (thank you Adam Willis!). Some tunes on the 11-song collection, like “Thievery” and “Behind Closed Doors,” lie back and tap along with swingin’ ’60s-style ska grooves or more straight-ahead Two-Tone manner. Others, including “The Breeze” and lead-off track “Barcelona,” incorporate more contemporary stylistic mash-ups (a la Sublime, 311, or Rancid). Sure, Browne seems eager to Marley it up with an affected accent and vocal delivery, but he is as convincingly soulful as the best in this modern subgenre. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Passafire perform at the Pour House (1977 Maybank Hwy., 571-4343) on Tues. Jan. 30. Show time is 10 p.m. Cover is $10.

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