For a brief stretch on a recent Thursday, Brother's Drake Meadery & Bar felt a bit like a dentist office waiting room as the Lou Anthony Band breezed through assorted covers that suggested a radio dial locked on a lite FM radio station, including mid-tempo ballads like Counting Crows' "A Long December," Dave Matthews Band's "Lying in the Hands of God" and Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues."
For a brief stretch on a recent Thursday, Brother’s Drake Meadery & Bar felt a bit like a dentist office waiting room as the Lou Anthony Band breezed through assorted covers that suggested a radio dial locked on a lite FM radio station, including mid-tempo ballads like Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” Dave Matthews Band’s “Lying in the Hands of God” and Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.”
It was with good reason, though, as the band, performing here to mark the release of its most recent EP, The Hourglass, was simply stalling for time while waiting for guitarist Nathan Redmond to arrive.
“Sorry I’m late,” Redmond, who arrived direct from the airport, said as he strapped on his guitar roughly half an hour after the musicians first took the stage. “Stupid airplanes.”
Considering the circumstances, it felt oddly appropriate when the band locked into “Find a Way” minutes after the guitarist’s arrival, frontman/keyboardist/percussionist Lou Kestella singing, “Sorry it took so long to arrive” as the tune set out on a musical detour of its own, spinning off into a lingering, down-tempo coda.
Freed from cover- band hell, the quintet’s original songs took on welcome added dimensions, and the soundtrack moved from simmering ballads Kestella described as “baby-making music” to stormier numbers that incorporated elements of prog-rock. No matter the musical dressing, however, the songs tended to center on the ongoing push-and-pull between lovers, swinging from humid numbers like “Endless Summer,” which came on like a steamy harlequin romance novel, to breakup tunes that hit with the force of a slammed door.
“Don’t worry about things ending,” Kestalla sang on “Beginning to the End.” “Just let go.”
Time also remained a constant. In one song, the narrator apologized to a former partner for wasting theirs (“Sorry for the time you spent on me”), and in another Kestella fretted about the dizzying pace of modern life, singing, “[It] seems like the hands on the clock are rushing.”
The music rarely matched this hectic pace, and songs like “Open Spaces” and “Find a Way” took pleasure in walking a more circuitous path, suggesting that, sometimes at least, it’s best to slow things down and enjoy those people and places that make day-to-day life worth living.