Players: Matt Parrish, lead vocals, guitar; Justin Lofton, guitar, backing vocals, banjo, harmonica; Taylor Hilyard, bass; Michael Blattel, drums; Clayton Corn, keyboard
Material: To celebrate the release of their first full-length record, Burning Bridges, country band Market Junction held a two-hour Livestream performance that showcased gorgeous harmonies and confident musicality. From show opener ”Nebraska” to the bare- bones love lyrics in “All I Really Need” and the combined vocal forces of Matt Parrish and Justin Lofton on the album’s title track, the band’s solid country flavor comes across as genuine and effortless.
Musicianship: ”Nebraska” gave a delicate intro to Market Junction’s style, with tender vocal harmonies between founders Parrishand Lofton floating over Lofton’s lilting Ganjo and Michael Blattel’s tasteful drum brushes. The Vince Gill cover “Key to Life” and original tune “Out of Love” featured Blattel’s train beat style, and Lofton spiced up “Hitch-Hiker” with harmonica and “A Stone Will Sink” with his mandola. Lofton’s down-and-dirty guitar licks on “Midwestern Highway” revealed the band’s darker tones. Guest keyboardist Clayton Corn shared fabulous Hammond sounds on “When Your Heart Begins to Ache” and “Hello, My Dear,” lending tension to the latter song’s tight vocal harmonies.
Performance: In addition to presenting all 10 tunes from their album, the group covered songs by Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, and Sean McConnell, offering moments of harmonic perfection throughout the show. The friendly audience communication by this team of seasoned country musicians matched the engaging lyrics of their original repertoire, particularly evident in the tune “Western Coast.” Lead singer Parrish delivered stories about navigating life’s adventures and misfortunes, with vocals that have the feel of Clint Black, while Lofton mixed flavors of Lindsey Buckingham on slide guitar (especially on “Home to Houston”) with traditional country guitar stylings and instrumental cameos.
Summary: Through inspired storytelling, an inviting vulnerability, and versatile, multi-instrumental musicianship, Market Junction delivered a fresh and fulfilling experience that is sure to please even the most casual country fan––easily one of the soundtracks for your next pandemic-safe road trip.