Live at Headhunters (Austin, TX)

by Treetop Sailors

Headhunters nightclub on Red River and 8th Street in Austin, Texas is generally known for its gritty, heavy metal and punk line-ups. Taken from the club's Facebook Page, recent attractions have included Metal Fuckin' Mondays, Ta-Ta Tuesday with "boobies a-jigglin' to some good fuckin' tunes," and a Kickass Psychobilly Show. But tonight was a bit different. Nestled between MC Whateva's hip-hop set and Scorpio Rising's electro-rock show, Treetop Sailors brought their A-game, in the form of a '70s rock and blues-infused show better suited to Antone's or The Continental Club.

Singer Jacob Mecham's onstage presence is reminiscent of Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon—long-haired, hippy-happy with a brilliant smile, and a voice that uniquely makes his songs his own. Mecham's retro appearance and passionate voice caught the club's attention and kept it throughout the Sailors' entire set. And remember, this is Headhunters, not a Cactus Cafe listening room crowd. Guitarist Jonathan Ellington plays aggressively, with a take-charge style but with enough of an emotional bluesy influence to pay fitting tribute to the band's new Austin home. Drummer Chris Fadely and bassist Nick Casillo lay down a locked-in, spot-on groove—stopwatch-steady yet with an abandon that separates the live show from sterile musician's clinic.

I had not heard of Treetop Sailors before sharing a bill with them last night, but was thoroughly impressed. And, oh yeah, according to a friend of the band in the audience, the guys are all young. "19." Can you say "promising future"? Look for Treetop Sailors to make a name for themselves in Austin. Soon. Go see them while they're still playing dive bars for free.

Posted on 1/15/12