Live Review with Americana Group Laney Jones and The Spirits

Gold-Diggers East Hollywood, CA

Contact: [email protected]
Web: laney-jones.com
Players: Laney Jones, lead vocals, guitar; Carson Lystad, guitar; Glen Hruska, bass guitar; Brian Dowd, drums

Material: Sharing music from 2022’s Stories Up High, along with singles from 2023 and 2024, ahead of their anticipated new record, Laney Jones and the Spirits played an energetic set to a full house on their recent Los Angeles stop. With a combination of a gravelly, upbeat Americana sound and heart- wrenching balladic moments, Jones and the band captivated the room with a set of solid originals, engaging listeners with intermittent head-bopping and sing-along moments.

Musicianship: “Secret Weapon” opened the show with entrancing vocal scoops and a moody guitar intro, adding lovely vocal harmonies between Laney Jones and bassist Glen Hruska. The crowd joined in on backing vocal scat sections before “Waiting On You,” which showcased the solid balance and confident musicianship between the players. The song also shared a melodic whistling solo from Jones. “Stay At Home” brought a gentler, magnetic vocal intro and lighter guitar lines, adding drums before a transition to full rock sound and lingering reverb guitar outro.

Performance: Between Jones’ consistent, easy stage presence, and a unified, complimentary group of musicians, the band delivered a fun and naturally engaging show, particularly in combination with Jones’ endearing—and somewhat random—comedic stage anecdotes. From metaphors about unreleased songs being like a “lonely can of beans in the pantry,” to her all-around quirky sense of humor, all in the room were drawn to listen as she shared funny quips between songs. Sitting on the stage floor playing her guitar, referring to all being present as “human meat bags,” Jones unveiled a melancholy vocal story (somewhat reminiscent of the sounds of The Cranberries).

Summary: “We Belong Together” brought an interesting army-march ritard section ahead of wailing guitars and vocal belts from Jones, and then a lighter vocal breakdown with sparing tom licks and guitar patterns. Grungier heavy rock smash “Rolling Stone” closed the show with great audience participation and a frenzied instrumental outro. A great use of time signature tension, beautifully unique vocal stylings, and a juxtaposition of vocal storylines with the drive vs. drag of the drum and rhythm push, brought a flavorful combination with this fun Nashville band.