Jamestown Revival – Triumphant Return to The Belly Up

On their 7th (or is it 8th?) sold out gig at Belly Up the band and audience celebrated their mutual love affair.

Acknowledging that such support seemed unmatched at any other venue, co-leader Jonathan Clay was clearly grateful to be back. He and co-leader Zach Chance led their Jamestown Revival through an inspired set.

With strong harmonies from the duo and tight musicianship from their current lineup, the band was clearly enjoying their role in the driver’s seat.

Kudos to Dan Reckard, nimbly shifting from keyboards to sax to squeezebox. The solid rhythm section of Nick Bearden (bass) and Ed Benrock (drums) kept everything on the rails even as the engine hit full steam.

For most of the evening occasional dollops of Texas swing melded with an alt-country vibe. Those old and lucky enough to remember The Band or The Flying Burrito Brothers found much to enjoy. Will Van Horn’s pedal steel anchored the high lonesome sound. The evening’s second song “Young Man” was an early highlight, and set the stage for later in the set with “Old Man Looking Back.”

Understandably the peak moment mid-set was the unity of the band and audience belting out “California.” The well-chosen cover of Eddie Rabbit’s “Driving My Life Away” was likewise well-received.

Jamestown Revival recently pivoted successfully yet seemingly improbably to musical theatre (their songs were integral to The Outsiders, which premiered around the corner at La Jolla Playhouse and is now scheduled to open on Broadway in the Spring, with Angelina Jolie producing).

That is quite a path for Jamestown Revival, which played an early afternoon set around the other corner at the inaugural Kaboo in 2015.

Judging by last night’s reception, they will always find a welcome and sold out reception at The Belly Up.

The evening was a treat for those arriving early to catch the solo acoustic set from Thomas Csorba. The Texan singer songwriter has crafted a solid collection of songs, buttressed by thoughtful lyrics and a passionate delivery.

Boldly stepping to the mic in the loud venue, Csorba hushed the crowd with an a capella song. He had the attention of the audience for the rest of his short but fulfilling set.

Thomas Csorba (photo by Austin Leih)


(photos by Brad Auerbach except where indicated)

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.