Club LaVela, Panama City, Florida • 3.26.98
Lee Ann Leach
Not much has been heard from Brother Cane in the last two years, but that doesn’t mean that the band has been slacking off. On the heels of completing album number three, Brother Cane sets out to be heard once again with their first show of their international tour to promote Wishpool. Even though it was in front of a bunch of clueless, drunk teenagers on Spring Break, Brother Cane handled the crowd quite professionally, and had everyone’s attention within the first three songs, starting off the evening with the title track of their new CD. Lead vocalist and guitarist Damon Johnson, with a new darker look, displayed his usual vibrant and soulful talents in both the newer and older Brother Cane material. Brother Cane’s lead man switched only once to an acoustic, for a cut off the new disc called “Human After All,” which was quite an appropriate song for a crowd that, at times, seemed something less than human. Bassist Roman Glick showed that the two years off the road was just a bit more than he could stand, and proved it with more energy and passion that should be allowed for one man to possess! Especially in yet another new tune called “Machete,” there was a clear and evident communication between he and drummer Scott Collier, as they worked together to create explosive rhythms in this song. It was a beautiful thing to behold. Newcomer since the band’s second CD Seeds, David Anderson has added a whole new level to the Brother Cane sound, with tight, jazz-oriented guitar riffs that add enough diversity to the music of Brother Cane to longer classify the band as “just another Southern rock and roll band.” Old Brother Cane favorites such as “Got No Shame,” “Fools Shine On,” and “20/20 Faith” were still intact, and played with every bit of enthusiasm, as if they were being played as new tunes themselves. Although, nervousness and uncertainty to the crowd’s reaction was obvious on the faces of Brother Cane, they pulled the evening off flawlessly, and left Panama City Spring Breakers with a new band to consider supporting as they head back to the books at the end of the week. One of the most honest and straight-forward performances I’ve seen in years- too bad Club LaVela employees had to ruin an otherwise perfect evening.