Picture Book & Live Review: Luella and the Sun @ Vinyl July 20th!


Photos & Review by Molly Free

Bowe Inc’s Saturday night at Vinyl was night and day different from my Friday night experience with the exception of it being another experience filled with good music and incredible talent. Warming up the stage was local, Nathan Nelson who set up shop on a stool with his guitar and drummer and provided a short and sweet set with his powerful songs that showcased his talent as a songwriter.

Next up was Rod Hamdallah who literally blew me away. The sound of Rod’s guitar even before getting into the set, was that powerful electric sound of riffs blaring- the kind that you feel in your entire body and can’t help but love it. To set the scene with out being cliché, his smooth bluesy sound literally mirrors Black Keys & Gary Clark Jr. which is a powerful combination of sound. Rod did not give his guitar a rest, holding the audience’s attention and amazement with how incredibly electric he was making the small room of Vinyl sound. Rod made great use of the stage with shredding guitar solos and riffs up and down that entire stage. My favorite song of the night was “Beg & Steal” with lyrics seemingly fitting for a blues rock show. A Creative Loafing “Best Local Blues Act” alum, be sure to check this guy out next time he is in town. You will not be disappointed with your ears ringing and your body shaking.

Finishing the evening was Nashville band, Luella and the Sun. I caught the band earlier this year at Hangout Fest and was looking forward to seeing them in a more intimate setting. It is hard to put down on paper the experience and sound this band created for all of us that Saturday night at Vinyl. Melissa Mathes’ (a.k.a. Luella) set consisted of her beginning acapella. Her powerful voice quieted the entire room, which I can’t say I’ve ever seen this accomplished at the venue. Then the boys chime in with their music, which equates to a formula for a powerful, soul and hip-shaking, rock sound. I really appreciated their use of different instruments, including jingle bells! Melissa has an insane energy about her shaking and dancing around the stage in a vest made out of plastic soda can rings, belting out a blues and gospel inspired sound. Oddly enough her speaking voice was the completely opposite, very calm and soft spoken. My highlights were slow jam “Universe in my Heart”, a very Cash-like “Train”, and “Home boy”. Luella & the Sun was the perfect ending to a soulful blues inspired night. Luella and the Sun’s newest single, “Fly So Free” is available now.


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