Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Sh-Booms reload with Mizz Bren, plus Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas (The Social)

Posted By on Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 2:15 PM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND   

click to enlarge Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas at the Social

Like their profile, the aesthetic of Detroit’s Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas (Nov. 5, The Social) has been gradually crystallizing in a big, shiny way. She and her crew embody the Motor City music tradition in all its stripes and splendor, peppering it with even broader influences. But lately, it’s been with a bright, swinging Amy Winehouse-sized splash. To capture that breadth, she came strong in a rock & roll gang of six made lush with keys and trombone. With a contemporary pop vision that’s joyfully revivalist and shined up to a nice, kicking cherry shine, the Deltas prove that accessibility doesn’t have to be soft-core.

click to enlarge Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas at the Social

When it comes to local support, Hernandez came up aces because it doesn’t get any more lifting than the one-two of the Sh-Booms and the Woolly Bushmen.

click to enlarge The Sh-Booms at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • The Sh-Booms at the Social

I first saw the freshly reloaded version of Orlando retro-soul syndicate the Sh-Booms a couple months ago, but that was amid the dizzying blur of the Will’s Pub 20th anniversary blowout. This was a chance for a good, focused look at the band with new singer Mizz Bren (née Brenda Radney), whose studio credits include contributing backing vocals to Justin Timberlake (The 20/20 Experience) and, even more interestingly, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (The Century of Self).

click to enlarge The Sh-Booms at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • The Sh-Booms at the Social

Losing a front figure is a perilous thing for a band. And when you’re talking about one as incandescent and defining as original singer Emily Patterson, it’s something from which most acts never recover. Well, the good news is that the big Sh-Booms locomotive hasn’t ceded any horsepower – Bren’s voice is a brick house. The better news is that they’ve taken a more modern and mature turn. Now, both singers are power plants of voice and presence. But while Patterson radiated more of an old-fashioned sweetheart halo, Mizz Bren throws off some tough grown-ass woman heat. And the band’s sound shows sign of growing up alongside her with less swing and more rock and soul. Suddenly, the Sh-Booms’ future now looks much longer and deeper.

click to enlarge The Sh-Booms at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • The Sh-Booms at the Social

click to enlarge The Sh-Booms at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • The Sh-Booms at the Social

And about those Woolly Bushmen, how many times do I have to tell you to get hip to these local boys? They are, straight up, the biggest transfusion of true rock & roll the city has seen in ages.

click to enlarge The Woolly Bushmen at the Social - JAMES DECHERT
  • James Dechert
  • The Woolly Bushmen at the Social

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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