Material: Austin natives Blue Healer graced the stage with a satisfying mix of pop and indie rock. While their pop reflects classic songwriting, the indie element puts a spin on it, mixing standup bass, synth sounds and drums. Before forming Blue Healer, these mates had logged a good amount of national touring with previous projects and the results are evident in their air-tight cohesion, superb vocals and overall mastery of their material.
“Only The Rain,” a standout song, offers an interesting look at relationship insecurity. The lyrics cleverly move from a vantage point of instability to a place approaching terra firma: “I was dreamin’ awful bad of the day that she would do me wrong and I woke up feeling strange, something heavy on my brain, it was only the rain comin’ down.” As each verse unfolds, all the anticipatory anxiety lessens, concluding with the tagline “It’s only the rain comin’ down.” “Luminescent Eyes,” with its California-style ‘70s rock feel, showcases the group’s keen ability to achieve taut, lush, laid- back harmonies.
Musicianship: If you combine the seductive vocal qualities of Sting and Adam Levine, you can hear a similar timbre in David Beck’s voice. He projects confidence and vulnerability in equal parts. In adition to that appeal is his tasty bass playing on both standup and electric. Mammel on keyboards employs various synth sounds to add a palate of musical colors that expand the group’s sound beyond the three-man outfit, while his backup vocals blend seamlessly with Beck’s leads. Stribling on drums consistently establishes a steady groove that is apparent and pulls back when needed.
Performance: Clearly thrilled to be in New York City, Blue Healer made that evident by forging a bond with the crowd. Beck provided plenty of visual appeal on standup bass, expressively moving with it as though it were a dance partner. And though most of the show was devoted strictly to the music, the band projected an openness despite the fact that they didn’t speak much between songs. They seemed at ease on stage and with each other and were clearly enjoying their time in the spotlight while maintaining a high musical standard.
Summary: Professional and accomplished, Blue Healer combines strong performance with songwriting craft. If they continue on this path, this threesome will be poised for continued success. What is needed is to keep churning out strong material, which is the key to breaking out into an even larger arena.
The Players: David Beck, bass, guitar, vocals; Bryan Mammel, keys, vocals; Dees Stribling, drums, vocals.
Photo by Mark Shiwolich
Venue: Rockwood Music Hall
City: New York, NY
Blue Healer - "Luminescent Eyes"
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