March 13, 2010 – Walking into the Rumba Café at 11pm or so was pretty hectic.  It’s a narrowly small but long club with tables on one side and a bar on the other and a stage splitting the two.  I walked in towards the end of the Mooncussers set.  After stepping out back for a quick smoke I came back in to see Lydia of Lydia Loveless on stage with the Mooncussers singing a song with them.  I immediately knew that I was a fan of her vocals.  It would now just be a matter of checking out the rest of her band backing her and their performance in general.  Lydia Loveless consists of Lydia Loveless on vocals and guitar, Parker Chandler handling percussion, Ben Lamb on bass, and Todd May on the guitar.

Lydia Loveless in action at Rumba Cafe, Columbus, Ohio

As the band was getting ready to play (i.e. tuning, mic checking, etc.), I noticed the sweet upright bass.  It’s hard to miss such a large instrument on a smaller stage as is such at Rumba.  While watching the band do sound checks and getting ready for the show I noticed the drummer in the back.  Having prior knowledge that this is Loveless’ dad I was a bit jealous of having such a cool parental unit.  He was communicating with the sound man for percussion levels and wearing a pair of Morrison glasses of which Jim himself may have been jealous.

Once the show started I was truly impressed with the amount of energy that the band had while playing.  This was absolutely not what I expected for a band that is labeled as folk or country music.  Loveless is a gorgeous little blond with a bit of pink/yellow dyed hair.  She completely and confidently took control of the performance.  When Loveless would be done with her vocal parts of a song she seemed to dive into her guitar in a passionate, punk-rock type manner.  Although the general instrumentation gives a feel of folk and country down home fun, Loveless’ voice and personality completely personifies a very aggressive punk like style.  As they performed the first song, I noticed the exceptional melodies that were a combination of down home folk music blended nicely with some punk-ish attitude.  I also noticed some very good and quick changes from the alt-rock style of sound to a more folk and country style of sound within and between songs.  If there is such a thing as alt-folk or punk-folk, this is it.

The band did a great job musically and performed spectacularly through the first four songs or so but ran into a couple of road bumps during the fifth and sixth selections.  There was a bit of what sounded like an out of tune problem along with a couple of other possibly technical sound problems which Lydia herself called out after the incidents.  She would either look at the crowd in a purposeful yet slightly uncomfortable manner and at one point even apologized for a broken string.  All of her comments were expressed in a very cute and charming manner such as, “I’d be lost without that broken string!”

Lydia Loveless from left: Todd May (Guitar), Lydia Loveless (Vocal and Guitar), Ben Lamb (Bass), Parker Chandler (Percussion)

The Band did come back very strong after the few technical problems though and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the performance.  The “new and/or temporary” guitar player had some very nice leads throughout the set and the entire band had some awesome energy throughout the show.  The upright bass player had several unique bass lines and from time to time would switch up to using a bow for a more dramatic change within and between songs.

The crowd seemed very involved and interested in the music and the performance.  As Loveless began the second to last song, which seemed to be a crowd favorite,  she stated, “I played this whole show just so I could play this one song!”  They ended the performance in a very sharp and strong manner while advertising their Cd’s for sale and let everyone know how to contact them.

If you would like to hear and learn more about Lydia Loveless check out their website at