Our latest adventure took Josh and I to Kansas City’s Crossroads Art’s District to take in the outdoor sights and sounds of summer in the city. The Midwestern heat of the Kansas City summer still lingered strong as thousands of our closest friends packed the mulch filled backyard of Grinder’s. Crossroads KC is a perfect venue if you love quality entertainment, easily accessible drinks, and arguably Kansas City’s best pizza and Philly Cheese Steaks (Josh had to have both).
The evening’s two bands were Hiss Golden Messenger, and St Paul and the Broken Bones; two perfect acts for grooving under the backdrop of Kansas City’s skyline. I don’t know what it was about these two bands or this particular night, but it seemed like I kept running into friends at this show, which made the experience that much groovier. And on this night, my lovely wife and her friend accompanied me for my usual fare of drinking, and dancing.
After grabbing some drinks and finding a nice patch of mulch to sit my ass down in and observe, Hiss Golden Messenger took to the stage. Hailing from North Carolina, Hiss is led by MC Taylor and features a varied number of guest musicians, both on the stage, and in the studio. I don’t think I could nail down a genre of Hiss – they take inspirations from a lot of different sources, such as folk, rhythm and blues, gospel, and country. Immediately, I felt the cooling relief of their music after the first song. MC Taylor and his fellow musicians set a great tone for a fun summer evening beneath the city lights.
Switching gears from bluesy to groovy, St Paul and the Broken Bones took the stage to raucous applause. Wearing the brightest red suit imaginable, lead singer Paul Janeway revved up the crowd with his unique take on the soul genre.
Formed in 2012 in Birminham, Alabama, Paul is joined by Browan Lollar on guitar, Jesse Phillips on bass, Andrew Lee on drums, Al Gamble on keys, and Allen Bandstetter on trumpet. Backing them up were a trombone and baritone sax, just to sprinkle a little more awesome on the party.
Paul’s energy is apparent in just how groovy the band is. Their infectious horn stabs, funky bass lines, and beats you can’t help but dance too got the backyard of Grinders really grinding. Reviewing my notes, a few key terms come back to me, such as “Sexy as Hell”, “Takin us to Church”, and “I need more horn solos in my life” Janeway’s vocal range is really something to be seen. I did a little music research on the band prior to the show, but my god, Paul can really belt it out. The rest of the Broken Bones backed up the amazing vocal talent with equally impressive instrumental abilities.
- Crumbling Light Posts Pt. 1
- Like a Mighty River
- Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like)
- Grass Is Greener
- I’ll Be Your Woman
- Everything Is Everything(Donny Hathaway cover)
- Broken Bones & Pocket Change
- Burning Rome
Both bands admirably filled the Kansas City night sky with groovy, summer-time music. All of our closest dudes and dudettes, dressed in the finest bro-tanks and rompers, left the Crossroads with ringing ears, tired legs, and a all-around great musical experience. If you have a chance to check out either of these bands (especially outside, during a summer night) be sure to hit them up.
Photos by Josh Chaikin
Words by Dallas Hessel
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Hiss Golden Messenger