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Communion: Rosco Bandana at the Varsity Theater – December 17, 2014

20 Dec

By: Kara Laudon

Rosco Bandana

Communion Minneapolis returned Tuesday night to the Varsity Theater – an event that started in October and will continue the third Tuesday of each month. Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, Kevin Jones of Bear’s Den, and producer Ian Grimble founded Communion Minneapolis in 2006 to spotlight emerging artists. The lineup for December 17 included Minneapolis locals Bomba de Luz, Mississippi’s Rosco Bandana, and Minneapolis’ Koo Koo Kanga Roo and Tramps Like Us.

Rosco Bandana, a high-energy indie folk/rock band, traveled all the way from their hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi. The band has been touring in support of their record Time To Begin, released in 2012 on Hard Rock Records. The members of the band include Jason Sanford on vocals/guitar, Emily Sholes on vocals/keyboard, Josh Smith on bass, Jackson Weldon on lapsteel, and Barry Pribyl, Jr. on percussion. The crowd started out fairly small, but as their set progressed more people trickled into the theater and gathered towards the front of the stage.

The band started out strong with their opening song “Time To Begin,” which had a rock feel to it, and directly transitioned into their second song with a much different bluegrass/country vibe. The most interesting thing about Rosco Bandana is their ability to combine different genres and tempos – much of the time in the same song. They infused elements of Americana – folk, rock, and bluegrass. The song, “Woe Is Me,” for which they recently released a music video, was my favorite of their set. It reminded me of the band Little Big Town, especially with the strong vocal harmonies between Sholes and Sanford. Adding a little humor to the set, the band lined up to sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” but sang only the first line before laughing and revealing it was just a joke! The group closed their set with a bit of a gypsy feel. Singer/ keyboardist Sholes added a unique element playing the finger cymbals. They ended their set with a heavy band jam that was a solid close. I had never heard of Rosco Bandana before this show, and their energy and charisma as a band won me over. If I had the chance to see them again I absolutely would.

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