Listen: The Shams Band By Justin Gerber on August 7th, 2009
Some bands take you places. Some may give you the sensation of being in another world. Others take you to heaven and hell.
Then there are those bands that place you comfortably inside a booth, at a bar about to close, struggling to polish off that bottle of beer filled with more backwash than straight-up alcohol. As you finish the drink, the band finishes their set, and you raise the empty bottle to pay tribute, maybe offering up a drunken “Whoo-hoo!”
Such sensations you may get when listening to The Shams Band, an outfit based out of the windy city of Chicago. Bandmates Donnie Biggins, Paul Gulyas, Doug Hill, and Brian Patterson create a blend of classic rock and Americana that appeals to music fans of all ages. They’ve only been together for about a year, though you wouldn’t be able to tell when listening to tracks on their MySpace page.
On their self-titled EP, their southern drawl-by-way-of-the-Midwest comes through in tracks like opener “Working Man”. Armed with the classic call-and-response chorus (“She said, ‘hey, man’ (she said, ‘hey, man’)”), and ooh-la-las, it’s a song whose structure seems inspired by The Faces and that other band Ron Wood is a part of. “Shelly” is an amalgamation of the Allman Brothers and Wilco’s “Airline to Heaven”. It would be hard to disappoint with that combination, and The Shams Band absolutely pull through.
“The Des Plaines River” is the comedown from the high of “Shelly”. It’s Spiritualized’s “Soul on Fire” sans orchestra, plus whiskey (and that “s” in “Des” is very pronounced). It rounds off a short-but-sweet EP that illustrates the strengths that The Shams Band offer: drunken anthems, revival music, and reflection. They’re “prisoners in the mud,” and hopefully they can keep enough of it on their shoes to bring into the studio for a proper album.
The Shams Band 2009 Tour Dates: 08/15 – Cary, IL @ Rawson Fest (Rawson Bridge Recreation Area) 08/29 – Forest Park, IL @ Healy’s Westside 09/11 – Oak Park, IL @ Val’s Halla 09/19 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Roots Collective @ Cubby Bear 09/25 – Chicago, IL @ Abbey Pub 12/12 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre