Saturday, December 29, 2018

Little Lesley & the Bloodshots at Otto's Shrunken Head

Lesley Swift is a farmer’s daughter from upstate New York who began playing piano and singing old-time country songs in backwoods bars at age eight. She moved on to guitar, wrote songs and played in traditional bands until she met her guitar-playing future husband, Brian Swift, in Nevada. He turned her on to rockabilly, she moved to upright bass, they relocated to New York City, and together formed a roots-rockabilly trio called the Bloodshots in 2012. Over the past two years, the Swifts relocated to Greenville, South Carolina, and the band personnel has been reworked without the hubby, who is pursuing other projects. Lesley reverted back to guitar, and the band has become a quartet renamed Little Lesley & the Bloodshots. The band's second and most recent album, Heartbeat, was released February 9, 2018.

Little Lesley & the Bloodshots returned to Otto's Shrunken Head tonight to perform at Phantom Creep Radio's monthly Midnite Monster Hop. This time, the band featured Swift on vocals and acoustic guitar, Long-Island guitarist Johnny Cola, New Jersey bassist Jeff Feinberg, and New England drummer Jeremy Kroger. The new line-up maintained the Bloodshots tradition of smart and sassy rockabilly with a high-energy show. Whether or not it was intentional, the lighting was particularly bright on Swift and dark on the rest of the band, which emphasized Swift's role as an accomplished singer/songwriter with a gift for twangy rock compositions. Though never in the spotlight, Cola in the background ripped brilliantly on reverb-soaked rockabilly licks. Concluding a fine set, Little Lesley had a treat for the band's followers; Brian Swift was in the audience and so she invited him to come on stage and rock the guitar with his wild playing for the final songs. Welcome home, Little Lesley & the Bloodshots!

Visit Little Lesley & the Bloodshots at www.thebloodshots.com.

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