A couple of weeks ago there was a band that was supposed to come into town and play a show. Something happened, and the band could not make it. Instead, a band from Alabama rolled into town that very few have ever heard of. When I heard the original act had bailed and could not make it, I was not real keen on seeing a replacement band brought in, especially day of. Usually when this happens booking agencies will give a venue the scraps that would take it and not complain because, well, they are usually not that good.
Shallow Side consists of Eric Boatright on Vocals, Seth Trimble on Guitar, Heath Fields on Drums, and Cody Hampton on Bass, and they formed in Cullman, Alabama (uh, where???) a little over year ago. When they first walked into the venue there seemed to be an arrogant persona surrounding them. They seemed hard to approach and just not personable. I heard one of them say they needed caffeine to get with it, so I got a soda from the bar and sent it up to the stage. Until this article they probably still do not know where that came from.
After the band was setup and ready for their cue to go, there was a delay. Not because of the band, but the sound guy was not ready yet. Without declaring who I was, or that I was going to write a review on this band, I walked up to them and just started talking. Every single member was super friendly, and the whole caffeine thing started to make sense. They had just drove 13 hours from Michigan where they played a show the night before. On top of that drive, they were heading back to Michigan immediately after the show, drive 13 hours where they just came from, to play a show the next night. This continued to brew the whole “oh boy” attitude that was prevailing on what scraps did the booking agency give the show that time.
From the first note that Shallow Side played, it caught my attention. There was a long musical progression before the vocals hit, but when they did, impressed is too small of a word. They played for a little over 30 minutes (the slot they were allowed) to about 20 people, but you could not tell. The stage show that this band showed was phenomenal, and the sound quality was top notch. The 30 minutes went by so fast, when they stopped playing I was disappointed. The small group that was there wanted more. A lot more. The melodies were rich and smooth, the timing of all the notes were right on, and there was nothing about the stage show that turned anyone away. They had that special something that as a fan in the crowd, they were able to draw you in and make you feel like you were in the show persay. They played like it was a sold out house, instead of the small crowd they were provided.
After the show when I sat down with the band, it was not one of those interviews you can tell where they are prepped for every question. I did not have to do anything besides ask questions, and they answered. Sometimes with heart wrenching stories, or unbelievable experiences that they have had on the road.
As a group they are doing it “old school rock style”. They just want to play. There are many days they are choosing between food or gas to get to the next show, or going to a strip mall or populated area of some sort to sell a few demo CD’s to people to pay for gas and food. They are 100% real and legitimate, and the talent they carry with them, I believe many will miss and not understand what just stood in front of them. They provided stories of people that have helped them along the way, fed them, gave them a place to sleep, whatever it took to make sure that these boys stayed on the road and showed their art to more fans.
Shallow Side is a massive hidden talent that many are missing as they play these towns. If you are lucky enough to get them in your area to play a show, without a doubt or hesitation, go. You will not regret a single thing about going and seeing these guys. Honestly, in my opinion, it will not be long before this band is very heavily known and is playing with the big boys.
Note: Shallow Side has granted permission for us to post 2 of their songs from their demo. Please take a listen to each and comment on your thoughts.
Shallow Side - Crutch
Shallow Side - Fear Ends Tonight