Live Review: PJ Moon and The Swappers at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA

Material: When PJ Moon met The Swappers they were all thriving in different bands in their native Durango, CO, which has become a melting pot for rock mash-ups and collaborations such as theirs. Ever since these four musicians partnered up, their band has evolved into a combination of Southern rock, blues, folk-rock and hard rock. “Sal Gatlin,” a track from their debut album Memoirs of Living In A Car, features a breakdown section that experiments with samba, much like “Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin. Their live performance of this song embodies the way in which they have blended so many of their musical influences.

Musicianship: As the lead singer and principal songwriter, PJ Moon structures his harmonic sets within the blues-rock genre. Many compositions feature instrumental sections that showcase the guitar soloing of Dyllon Drake. As this four-piece band continues to publish new material, they have slowly begun to integrate more of the country-rock properties of their bassist. In fact, Charlie Henry wrote and sang lead on an original track called “Marsha May” for their upcoming EP, Soul Fashioned. Alt-country songs like this have diversified the sound and presentation of their live shows.

Performance: PJ Moon and The Swappers played a total of 10 songs. Drummer Cord Drake maintained a groove as his band transitioned through an assortment of rock genres. The soulful voice of PJ Moon often struck a chord that was comparable to the late Bradley Nowell (of Sublime). When he sang the reggae-rock song “Carry The Weight,” it captivated several members of the audience, who danced to the music.

Summary: The band's synchrony resembled that of a professional jam band. Their musicianship garnered the attention of several members of the following act, as they were noticeably spotted peeking out near stage left. Much like the Dave Matthew’s Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this group has the ability to filter their brand of rock music through a litany of subgenres. Going forward, all that's needed is some engaging stage patter between songs to make the experience more personable.

Contact: [email protected]
Web: pjmoonandtheswappers.com
Players: PJ Moon, vocals, guitar; Dyllon Drake, guitar; Charlie Henry, vocals bass; Cord Drake, drums