J Roddy Walston is a guy called Rod and three other guys called the Business. This seems complicated in print, but watching the band live clears up any confusion immediately. The boys (grown wild from the fading but sturdy Garage scene in Baltimore) look like an unscrubbed freak folk collective, sing like Small Faces backed up by the Moonglows, and rock out like… a bunch of guys that practice a fuck of a lot– tight, fast, unselfconsciously, gloriously free and swinging.
Plus they know how to appeal to the youth:
After seeing them destroy (and in an opening slot) at the Rock and Roll Hotel a few weeks ago, and after getting knocked over by the eloquent lyrics on their new EP Don’t Break the Needle, we asked the fellas if they’d consider writing about their current multi-city whirlwind tour thing in a diary for us, and they said yes! Here is the first dispatch from the front-lines, written by Rod himself.
i am writing this blog about me and my band… and what we think and experience.
there have been high times and hard times and it would take a coon’s age to bring you up to snuff on where we have been and what we have been through, so i am just going to dive into the present.
a man like me can’t waste time feeling ashamed about where and when he has an encounter with truth…you have to take every victory and store it in your bible heart for none to take it away.
that being said, it still burns a little when you have one of these moments in a near-to-the-highway type convenience store… i had my most recent encounter with wisdom standing in the corn chips and candy aisle. there inside that delicate confectionery berm i could feel myself rubbing shoulders with America’s diabetes epidemic….it felt good…it felt like home. i started to study the buffet of human specimen that was splayed before me and there was one girl in particular who stood out from all the winning smiles and vinyl-seat-sweat-readied consumers. it was while looking at this lady that i realized a line had started to blur, whether it was from being road weary or just that i am a little older than i used to be i am not sure, but it shook me all the same. so here’s the rub…I could not tell if she was attractive or just young. was this girl super model beautiful or just unable to legally buy cigarettes? these are not the kind of feelings you want to face by your lonesome… so i relayed my new found confusion to the counter attendant (i will name the attendant Mr. sheetz). i rattled off my dilemma to this fella expecting to be ignored or given a simple patent answer, instead he shared a nugget of insight and friendship that bound us forever as partners on the path towards self awareness. Mr. sheetz said “I hear what you’re saying man, i was dating this girl and she was beautiful but she had bitch features…some people mistake bitch for polish but they’re different… you know what i mean?”
i did not know what he meant….. but i wanted to.
this is the kind of absurdist point/counterpoint that living your life on the road will afford you.
as i left the gas station/restaurant i was given this parting image of what heaven might be like…
Bless You J. Roddy and Bless your Business as well.