Staff Pick: J. Roddy Walston & the Business keep a jolt of rock

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From the November 7, 2013 edition

Though J. Roddy Walston & the Business were just in Columbus for CD 102.5’s Summerfest, there’s no reason to miss Monday’s performance at the Newport, especially for a mere $5. The band has churned out a couple of strong Southern rock records — punctuated by Walston’s piano pounding and commanding vocals — that make it hard for even the wallflower-iest of folks to not get into the boogie. Live shows are even more unhinged and infectious.

The band’s latest record, Essential Tremors, marks the band’s biggest infusion of soul, which cleans up its sound a bit but is a welcomed progression nonetheless. The single “Heavy Bells” features gigantic, chugging guitar riffs and a catholic imagery chorus, but there’s an undercurrent of blues too. Tracks like “Tear Jerk,” “Take It As It Comes” and “Midnight Cry” delve full-on into the soul mourn. But J. Roddy Walston & the Business don’t abandon their roots, making sure to keep a jolt of rock in everything they do.