For those who witnessed Fire in the Field’s record release party at Bill’s Bar on Friday the 13th there is no question that rock music is alive and well. In addition to the healthy serving of guitar driven rock offered up by Fire in the Field, Crash Midnight dealt out gobs of Axl Rose attitude and rock excess.
Taking the stage just before midnight to a packed house full of energetic hometown faithfulls, who partied hard despite the heat and humidity, Fire in the Field tore full speed into the song that opens their self-titled debut album, Magic Man. Accompanied by the soulful backing vocals of Amy Santarelli and Sam Moore and harnessing the assaulting presence of One Hand Free keyboardist Andrew Blowen, the group, fronted by lead singer Jamie Bagshaw, guitarist Mike Moore, bassist Jeff Badolato and drummer John Santarelli, splayed the crowd with a 16 song set that highlighted the group’s live performance skills and canvassed their new album, transplanting the spirit of ’70s blues-based hard rock to the 21st century.
One only needs to witness Fire in the Field live to understand that music is more than just a hobby to the group. They made sure sure to acknowledge the love from the crowd on multiple occasions and showed their thanks by offering the album for free to those in attendance. By extending this gesture it is obvious Fire in the Field want to have their music heard more than anything else. After attending a show or listening to the album it will became clear why. Jamie Bagshaw brings the vocal range and presence of a dangerous rock front man while Mike Moore forges the group’s sound over a combination of razor-sharp riffs and wah-wah solos. Their sound is rounded out and held in place by the funk-laced bass of Jeff Badolato and the hard-hitting, always steady, rollicking drums of John Santarelli. Santarelli doesn’t just keep time, he makes it a constant.
The tightly packaged eight song album, produced by Geoff Taylor of One Hand Free, explores a variety of sounds that bear a footprint laid down artists such as Pink Floyd on Soledad (complete with time changes reminiscent of Meddle-esq breakdowns) and Led Zeppelin on Magic Man, Goatskin, and the When the Levee Breaks-throwback The Stomp, but Fire in the Field still come off as original. Restless is the album at its most mellow with a pointed look back on an ex that conjures up a Black Crowes style southern-rock and My Time has Come and Sweet Mother display the group’s desire to forge ahead while paying their respect to those who came before them. Clocking in at under 35 minutes the album is stripped to the essentials, void of filler and a must-listen.
You can sample a few tracks off the album at the band’s myspace.