Corbitt-Clampitt, Heather Gills Crush Tallahassee, Head for Jacksonville, OBJ

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Jacksonville: YOU ARE ON ALERT. You, too, Orange Blossom Jamboree. And Purple Hatter’s BallThe Corbitt-Clampitt Experience and the Heather Gillis Band are coming for you. Actually, forget the alert. They’re going to have their way with you, no matter what.

Both bands play tonight at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville along with Bonnie Blue, and next week both will be at Orange Blossom Jamboree at the Sertoma Ranch in Brooksville. And both had deluxe performances last night (Thursday, May 12th) at the Liberty Bar in Tallahassee. (You can check their upcoming schedules in this preview.)

It was Heather’s turf, so Corbitt-Clampitt opened the show (bet CCE closes tonight in Jax!). Despite the fact that this was a Thursday, the Liberty was slammed. And this was Isaac Corbitt’s first show in Tallahassee; meanwhile, a number of Brady Clampitt’s family were in the house.

At the start, it was clear there was an audio problem; the vocals crackled and buzzed. After one song, similar to “Call Me the Breeze” but vocals indistinct, and a second, they stopped to correct the problems. Heather was aware of the problem and was helping as well.

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CCE tried an instrumental, and what better selection than “Cissy Strut.” Isaac’s harmonica sounded OK, finally, but was a bit too far under the mix. By the time Brady stepped up to the mic to sing “Blind, Crippled and Crazy,” the sound problems were solved.

Brady’s powerful voice was able to ring through; he is a great vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player. After several more tunes, he introduced a medley of tunes to show off Isaac’s harp prowess. Isaac said this was dedicated to two of his favorites: John Popper and Jason Ricci. With that, the band tore into a full-frontal version of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” with Isaac at full throttle, then shifting into an uptempo “Fur Elise,” then back to Grieg. And that segued into another rocker. And the sound mix was much better!

Then Brady really knocked it out with a tremendous version of “Little by Little,” followed by a killer “Mystery Train.” They finished with a great cover of “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’.” The rhythm section — Brandon Buck on drums and Jake Alessandrini on bass — were superb all night.

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After a very short break, the Heather Gillis Band was up and ready to rock. Really rock. They started — how appropriately — with an original titled “100 MPH. It was. Then heads snapped as she blistered “Sunshine of Your Love,” Nyan Feder excellent on rhythm guitar. Ryan then switched to tenor saxophone for original tune “Fantasy.” There was slight change, as Isaac came up, harp in hand, and Heather grabbed her lap steel for “Gonna Be a Storm,” which morphed into “Shake Your Money Maker.” Everything was working. Kyle Chervanik and Gerald Watkins were also rock solid, crushing it on bass and drums.

The Stevie Wonder classic “Uptight” was a great opportunity to dance (whew!), and they closed their set with two more originals: “Fight to Win” and “Souls on Fire.” Heather’s voice sounds better than ever, and Nyan took a nasty tenor sax solo on “Souls on Fire.” Jake’s bass was on fire as well.

So just concede victory to the Corbitt-Clampitt Experience and the Heather Gillis Band. Head to 1904 Music Hall tonight and Orange Blossom Jamboree next week! Resistance is futile!

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