Material: Detroit-area trio Athens Creek plays a wide assortment of classic rock, contemporary pop, modern country and originals. They take songs like “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and strip them to their essence while infusing brand new energy. Original compositions like “I’ll Be Cliché” and “Don’t Hold Back” are lyrically clever and emotionally potent. Well-placed gems from One Republic, Carrie Underwood and Johnny Cash complete the picture for diverse and meticulously crafted entertainment.
Musicianship: Each member is clearly an artist in their own right. Jones has a vocal acumen suited for lead and backing vocals. And his guitar playing is strong and holds down a solid groove. Sosa primarily plays lead guitar and possesses a style that bridges the gap between rock, jazz and the blues. He truly brings the fire and is an appealing counterpoint to Jones’ more folky rhythmic approach. Walls has a voice equally comfortable as lead or support and can chew up the scenery when called upon; she runs the gamut from gritty and robust to silky and sweet.
Performance: Athens Creek really got the audience involved and defined the concept of interactive. The rapport between band members was open and transparent and that seemed to connect with the near-capacity crowd. There were some minor issues with the sound system, but the band’s professionalism and good humor between songs kept a positive energy flow. The band seemed to draw from a large pool of tunes where you never knew what was coming next. Also, Sosa’s unique solos and rhythmic arrangements allowed the material to breathe and gave everything an added kick.
Summary: Athens Creek humbly performs with a lion’s share of soul, passion and heart. They leave it all on the stage and seem to be having a ton of fun doing it. There is also a commitment to their craft and an attitude that says they are ready to take this act to larger venues and arenas.
The Jones-penned songs are really strong. The band would be well advised to continue developing an original side and start showcasing more of that in all that they do.
The Players: Nate Jones, vocals, acoustic guitar; Oscar Sosa, acoustic guitar; Taylor Walls, vocals.
Photo by Eric A. Harabadian
Athens Creek - "Amazing House" (cover)