Elle Gallo & On The Rocks

Elle Gallo & On The Rocks
Live review – July 25, The Rock Pond Restaurant, Georgetown, MA

By Georgetown Fats
August 2008

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For a town of approximately 7,500, Georgetown residents who prefer the live music experience are fortunate to have two local restaurants that book live music on weekends. Having ventured out recently to review one of my personal favorite bands, the weekend was dedicated to heading outside of my usual area to check out a live act getting a lot of buzz in the North Shore and Merrimac Valley area.

Out of Haverhill, Elle Gallo is a pint-sized vocalist with a great big voice.

Accompanied by “On The Rocks,” some of the best blues rock musicians the North Shore and Merrimac Valley have to offer, I managed to sneak in unannounced in the middle of the first set at The Rock Pond in Georgetown.

Bassist-vocalist Dave Gagnon was entertaining the crowd with his rendition of “Mustang Sally.” Gagnon, drummer Sean Davies, and guitarist Jim Wyse had the near capacity crowd up and dancing. From there, the band kicked off “Voodoo Woman.” After a couple of quick last minute sips of wine, Gallo – no pun intended - roared into the tune. She flaunted a voice which, while being technically impressive, also possesses the grit to add life to a set which relied heavily on juke box friendly material.

This vocal grit was on display with a rocking rendition of “Bobby McGee.” The great Janis Joplin may have passed away 38 years ago, but Elle Gallo & On The Rocks honored Janis by rocking the dancing crowd with a strong cover version of this classic.

For the proprietor of The Rock Pond, Elle Gallo & On The Rocks may have rocked just a tad harder than he would have liked, as he made a quick dash to the band to reduce the volume. For a remarkable bar room, which resembles an old church with high ceilings and a long bar, volume levels at The Rock Pond need to be constantly monitored as the restaurant attached to the bar area was still open, and the majority of clientele is either an older set or a family crowd.

After a quick adjustment, the band ripped into “Son of a Preacher Man.” Once again Gallo and her crew showed the technical ability to dive into a classic and add just enough soul to make the tune their own. All too often, cover acts resort to classic tunes for shows and stick to note-for-note renditions. It takes a real strong band to take set lists full of jukebox friendly material and make the material its own.

After the Dusty Springfield classic, Gallo took a moment to announce the next tune for the evening. “Am I the One,” a tune written and recorded by Beth Hart, slowed the evening down and illustrated that the band can rock, but they can also pour passion and energy into a power ballad.

Next, Gallo announced there was one more tune before the break, and Wyse laid into his six-string to produce that unmistakable riff which is “Road House Blues.” Gallo roared her vocals, Gagnon and Davies powered the rhythm section - which allowed Wyse the room to blister a guitar solo that managed to compromise one of his strings. One popped string later “Road House Blues” came to a rocking close.

The band thanked the crowd, and navigated through the dance floor to take quick breather. After procuring a copy of Yes I Am, Gallo’s new EP, I left The Rock Pond both impressed with the location and Elle Gallo & On The Rocks.

www.myspace.com/ellegallo

www.therockpond.com

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