Holy City Cold Hearts Revival
The Pour House
Nov. 27

If the theme of the event implied mutual loneliness, heartbreak, and despair, the good vibes at the fifth annual Holy City Cold Hearts Revival eclipsed it all. By the time the headlining bands hit the big stage at the Pour House on Saturday evening, everyone appeared to be in great spirits — from the scenesters and bandmates at the bar in the main room to the staffers and barflies in the chilly air on the deck.

An early evening crowd caught the all-for-one set on the deck stage from Jamie Resch, the Royal Tinfoil, and Megan Jean and the KFB. While the hillbilly-themed, Kentucky-based Dirt Daubers (led by the Legendary Shack*Shakers’ J.D. Wilkes) shared the top slot with event organizer Lindsay Hollers’ Western Polaroids last year, Holler and her bandmates went on a little earlier this time, playing right after Atlanta’s vaudevillian Blair Crimmins and the Hookers. Their quick sets made room on the schedule for two popular visiting acts, the New Familiars and Josh Roberts and the Hinges.

Fronted by guitarist/mandolinist Justin Fedor, Charlotte’s New Familiars delivered a tight and spazzy set of country-rock and funk-grass, peppered by Josh Daniel’s slide guitar work, drummer Daniel Flynn’s shuffly beats, and Patrick Maholland’s wiggly basslines. Things kept jumping when Columbia-based singer/guitarist Josh Roberts and his crew cranked up. Roberts’ fiery guitar solos and twangy singing style bounced of his rock-solid rhythm section of acoustic guitarist Leslie Branham, bassist Robert Walker, electric guitarist Corey Stephens, and new drummer David Ware. They had no setlists, but they had terrific on-stage chemistry. The songs seemed to pop up naturally, and there was no hesitation.

At one point between tunes, Roberts called for “three cheers for Lindsay Holler,” which garnered one big cheer from the late-night stragglers. It was warm stuff from what was supposed to be a bunch of ice-hearted hardasses.

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