‘An Evening at the Vets’ returns with solid lineup

By From page A9 | October 05, 2012

What better way to spend a Saturday night than with fantastic free live music?

City of Davis Community Services and Woodland Healthcare proudly present the third annual “An Evening at The Vets” fall concert series. This free concert series takes place each Saturday from Oct. 13 through Nov. 10. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis. For more information call 530-757-5626, or visit cityofdavis.org. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kicking off the series this Saturday is Davis hard rock band, Crow Canyon. The band is made up of three Davis High School sophomores; Drew Thomsen on drums, Riley Donahue on guitar and vocals and Nathan Puckett on bass and vocals.

On Oct. 20, Matt & George and Their Pleasant Valley Boys will bust out bluegrass jams. From Dixon, this group plays traditional tunes using banjo, fiddle, mandolin, string bass and guitar. The group recently released “It’s Opry Time!,” a collection of classics and forgotten relics, recorded live into a single microphone, like it was done back in the good-ol-days. Visit pleasantvalleyboys.com.

Davis singer/songwriter Belle Francisco performs on Oct. 27. She plays a blend of blues, folk, jazz and rock styles. According to her bio, Belle’s songs are “an exploration of justice, human development, bonding, love and loss all in support of soul transformation.” Visit bellefrancisco.com.

On Nov. 3, it’s Travis Brass, from the USAF Band of the Golden West. Expect everything from traditional march and brass composition, to jazz, ragtime and interpretations of modern pop music. Visit bandofthegoldenwest.af.mil.

Hardwater closes out the series on Nov. 10. This Davis-based cover band has a diverse catalogue, playing songs from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead and Dave Mathews Band. Visit hardwatermusic.com.

Crow Canyon, which has performed a numerous venues around town, is a nice blend of local talent and overall sound appeal.

“We have a very hard-core classic rock sound,” Nathan Puckett said in a recent interview. “We sound like the band Jet.”

“We have hard songs and soft songs, not all punch-you-in-the-face songs,” Riley Donahue said. Songs like “Scream My Name” and “Shake Me Up” will certainly wake you up with their rock ‘n’ roll intensity. (Listen at crowcanyonband.com.)

The band does not hold back live. “We rock out,” Puckett said. “At our last show, Reilly fell and couldn’t get up,” he added with a laugh.

“Yeah we jump around a lot,” Drew Thomsen said.

Donahue added, “Most live pictures are of us in mid-air.”

The current incarnation of Crow Canyon has been around since November. Both Thomsen and Puckett are in the DHS Jazz Band, as well as other side projects.

“I play in the private jazz band Crazy Eights, and another rock band,” Thomsen said.

“I play in Sax by Popular Demand,” Puckett said.

Donahue focuses all his attention on Crow Canyon. “I write a lot of the songs, and I am the rock guy,” he said. “They’re more musicianship oriented and more technical. I’m more about the songs and performing. It works out well.”

“We balance each other out,” Thomsen said. “We bash it out together.”

Do they tend to get along?

“Sometimes we have disputes about stuff, but it’s all good,” Donahue admitted. “We are opinionated people.”

How does their classic rock sound go over with their friends?

“Our friends seem to like us more as an idea,” Thomsen said. “Like, ‘You guys are a band, so that’s cool.’ ”

“We’re friends with a lot of girls who are into pop,” Donahue said.

“It’s hard to compete with One Direction,” Puckett said.

Crow Canyon hopes to combat this pop fixation with rock. “Some of our friends who are rap fans are getting into our stuff,” Donahue said. “Rock music is exciting music. You can’t deny that.”

There is no denying the power of rock, especially when it’s played with such passion and skill. Like their music, the band is thinking big.

“We’ll ride out these two years, and then if we get big, we’ll do it,” Thomsen said.

“Oh yeah, we plan on getting big,” Puckett said.

There’s no room for modesty in rock. Catch Crow Canyon now, before the rest of the world catches up to them.

Landon Christensen

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