By Joe Bailey, Staff Writer—
Upon stepping into Songbirds for the first time, it becomes apparent that it’s a space dedicated to celebrating music and its history first and foremost. Countless antique guitars, mandolins and banjos preserved in glass cases stand as testaments to the vast and varied history of music in Tennessee and America in general.
It seems appropriate, then, that the band playing there that night was one that also brought many musical styles together into a cohesive yet uniquely American whole.
Three Star Revival was formed in 2015 by lead vocalist Ben Gaines and lead guitarist Cameron Moore. The duo started out playing mostly folk and country but soon expanded to other genres. They were able to incorporate new elements into their music like jazz, soul, r&b, and even rap as seen in their performance at Songbirds.
This expansion was made easier with the addition of the band’s newer members like bassist Tyler Riddick, keyboard player Gregory Walton and drummer Bo Kitzman, all of whom brought their own musical skill sets and backgrounds to the table. Ben Gaines spoke on the band’s musical character.
“When I write by myself, it’s usually more Tennessee americana and folk sounds and he [Cameron Moore] does more of the soul, funk, r&b and stuff, and then as we added these guys into the group it just started meshing all these different styles and sounds and it’s kind of turning into whatever it’s becoming now,” Gaines said.
It seemed like this blend he alluded to was more a byproduct of their different backgrounds manifesting in their music rather than a plan or goal they had when forming the band. They projected an ethos of artistic spontaneity; an integral component of the art of music and performance not fully expressed by the static symbols of music’s past on the walls.
Listening to them perform live that night completed the picture for me. As Gaines belted over the infectious grooves, the room came alive and it seemed, in those moments, that the history represented in that building became real again.
More information on Three Star Revival and their future shows can be found at www.threestarrevival.com with their various social media accounts linked therein.
Joe Bailey is a contributing writer. He currently attends UTC where he writes for the student newspaper, The University Echo. He is a communication major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .