J Roddy Walston and the Business with Moon Taxi 03/13/2015 Amos’s South End Charlotte, N.C.

“I bet you sick lick forcep and you’re tiny in red.

Elevate you tricep you’re a martyr in bed.

Sitting on a gold mine, shooting up the old time.

Cleaning up the refuse of your plaid shirt and coke lines.

Now I’ve been pulling thread doing all kinds of evil.

I know you hate me baby but don’t break the needle lady.

Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee haw haw,

you made me laugh baby, you made me crawl.

Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee haw haw,

you made me laugh baby, you made me crawl.

I’ve been pulling thread doing all kinds of evil.

I know you hate me baby but don’t break the needle lady.”

  • J Roddy Walston and the Business “Don’t Break the Needle”


A rainy night was not enough to stop the masses from making the journey to Amos’s South End in Charlotte, N.C., to take part in the revival of music by Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, and  Moon Taxi. We came in right before Moon Taxi took the stage and were delighted to get out of the rain. We unfortunately, arrived after Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas played, so I will have to make up for that loss at Bonnaroo this June. This was my first time at this particular venue in Charlotte and I was impressed with the size and amount of people that could attend a show there.  It featured two levels with an open floor, which allows for an unobstructed view from the second floor; this gives just about anyone a good view of the stage.  We chose to stay on the first floor to get as close as possible despite the jam-packed crowd that had gathered for the next band.

Moon Taxi, based out of Nashville, TN., has been together since 2006, having formed while attending college at Belmont University.  Moon Taxi opened up their set with “Mercury”, the lead track off of their 2012 release, Cabaret.  The crowd’s energy was focused solely on the band as they went through a varied mix from their four studio albums.  They even snuck into the set a cover of Neil Young’s classic “Harvest Moon” and did a great job in making the song sound like one of their own.  The band received a high level of energy from the crowd and performed the entire set with great exuberance.  This was my first time watching them live and I could see the appeal that they had garnered over their nearly ten year career.  It is good to see talented musicians thoroughly enjoy their time on stage in front of the people that matter to them, the fans.  That is a magical feat to accomplish.

To me personally the next band is one of the most highly underrated, most energetic, and powerful live acts that one can witness firsthand.  J Roddy Walston and the Business was formed in 2002 by front man J. Roddy Walston in his hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee.  I fell hard for this band with the release of the self-titled 2010 album. With songs like “Don’t Break the Needle”, “Brave Man’s Death” and “Use Your Language”… I was hooked on the sound and energy that came out in his voice and in their music.  Their style has been described as a mixture of the golden age of Rock ’n’ Roll, with hints of southern Gospel, and some good time honky-tonk sing-a-longs thrown in; combine all of that and then you have J. Roddy Walston and the Business.  I have seen an interview where J. Roddy says one critic described them as ‘AC/DC fronted by Jerry Lee Lewis’.  What a mix!

This was my fourth time seeing them live. I look forward to seeing them a fifth time on May 30, 2015 with Drive-By Truckers, Shovels and Rope and Southern Culture on the Skids at the Candler Park Music and Food Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.  This show in Charlotte was their first time since the Weenie Roast in September 2014 and the crowd gave them a warm welcome when they came on.  By the end of the first song, two bras had already mysteriously made it onto the stage.  J. Roddy’s hair tossed back and forth as he railed on his piano and crooned the audience with each song. The band’s goal was to take the ticket holder onto a musical journey through J. Roddy’s emotions and thoughts. This mission was accomplished throughout the night as the audience sometimes sang along with J. Roddy or on their own as he would let the crowd take control of the song.  Whether the track was “Take It as It Comes”, “Full Growing Man”, or “Sweat Shock”, the crowd was ready to take the reins as backup singers for J. Roddy if he so desired.  This night had a vibration about it that resonated all around us as they performed, laughed, smiled and embraced Charlotte with their positive energy.

To end the night, the encore set was “Boys Can Never Tell” and “Heavy Bells”.  If you are familiar with the last track, you know that tune can help alleviate the fact the night would be over in minutes.  Embrace the weirdness which is J. Roddy Walston and the Business.  These guys know exactly how to entertain and perform in front of the fans. Each time I have seen them, they seem to only get better with each performance.  If you have the chance to catch J. Roddy Walston and the Business, I strongly suggest doing so if you want to have one of the best times of your life with hundreds of friends you’ve never met.




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