JUDGE PARKER Ancerville 10th of April 2010
Photos by J N SIROT http://www.myspace.com/rockandphotos
Sometimes, we live amazing things in the music called "southern".
Who could have thought indeed 2 or 3 years ago that people like Blackberry Smoke
or Judge Parker would one day set foot in our land?
After Point Blank's resurrection and the noticed Molly Hatchet's passings, we can
say that we have certainly lived highlights to be appreciate without moderation. Likewise,
the latest good surprise is of course this step of the Pearson brothers and of
the Judge Parker Band in Ancerville, a remarkable work of the Festirock Association
and of his devoted leader Olivier Ragot (also assisted among others by Thierry).
After having already organized the coming of Point Blank at the "Château de Goncourt" (Goncourt Castle) in 2008, they gave to the southern rock fans the opportunity to have
a wonderful time by discovering this fantastic band coming from Arkansas. Those people
in charge deserve of course and in a compelling way a great hats off and the support
of all the people appreciating those moments !
After a nicely packaged foretaste by Stetson, a very good blues rock band from
the Lyon area, the regular participants of the place and of this kind of event take over
the stage. I was speaking of course from Natchez, the guys from Champagne
that we don't introduce anymore!
They can rely on an audience that always demonstrates a lot of respect for the
significant work of Babach, Manu, Ben et Dédé, and that let them always understand
to what extend they are essential in the little french landscape of southern rock!
Of course, Natchez gave us an very well rehearsed set and even finished with
a little wink-shaped to Blackberry Smoke surprise by covering "Shake Your Magnolia",
one of the highest titles of the Atlanta's gang, to be also coming back once again
in France the 20th of June "chez Paulette" (and once again with Natchez and Festirock)!
But the high point of the evening was of course the Judge Parker Band's performance.
It was already possible to have an idea of the thing by surfing on YouTube or other sites offering video clips, but no real idea compared with the performance given this saturday
in Ancerville, because we've seen and appreciated here an amazing rock’ n roll band!
Judge Parker, that was for the first time discovered some years ago in the columns
of your favourite site, is a band gathered around the Pearson brothers, and its line-up changes over the course of the years. We were looking forward to the coming in France
of this band, that realised a first CD considered as a collector.
They open the ball with "Along For The Ride", from their last album, moved to
"Hell On The Border". At first sight, we notice that the rascals are very libéral with the décibels. It's often said that Southern Rock is better when you are really immersed in, and that's here the case ! With "Hop Skip And A Bump", we have the opportunity to discover the incredible talent of Seth Freeman (lead guitar) in slide guitar on his Les Paul. He's bundless of skills and seems to come straight out the same school as Derek Trucks (though I'm not sure that there's a school for the feeling !). This Monsieur is still young (25 years)
but really formidable!
We can also remember that Judge Parker is a very experienced band : born in 1988, but its membres are long time skilled musicians. John Seaberg (bass) was Steve Gaines' bassist on the album "One In The Sun" in 1975 (that means something !). Besides, we really feel that they were buddies with the former Skynyrd's guitarist because they cover on stage "I Know A Little" and above all the brilliant "Ain't No Good Life", two songs written by Steve Gaines!We were also eligible for cool sequences full of feeling like "My Missouri" or the magnificent "Tombstone", to start over then on songs like "She Still Does" and even a "Dreams I'll Never See", that the real Molly Hatchet would surely not have denied (but not Gregg Allman because the Molly Hatchet's version is not known to be his favourite, ah ah!).
Anyway, you have understood that it was a wonderful evening, that, like always,
ended in a nice little jam : the Natchez plugged again their amps for a "La Grange"
boogie and a "Sweet Home Alabama" still very suitable to conclude a southern rock evening!
At a late hour, 2 h 17 to be precise, the lights switched off slowly in Ancerville where
we just lived again one of those good moments destined for letting us live some other soon!
Philippe Archambeau, traduction Yves Philippot-Degand.