Last Friday's record release for Cortney Tidwell's Boys was hotly anticipated, even if we did arrive at The Basement in typical late asshole style, whereupon we learned that Paper Hats had already played. Eager to suck down smoke outside, we had just enough time for a drink and mingle before Caitlin Rose began.
The Pre-Raphaelite Rose did her semi-solo set, with occasional vocal accompaniment from Tristen and Jordan Caress. She's a charming artist who readily endears herself to her crowd with bizarre little asides about tornadoes and drinking. But there's power behind her understated style: The girl's got a voice Nashville can be proud of. It wasn't long before Tidwell and her band of goddamn first-rate musicians were on. At the bar with our back to the stage when her set began, we knew we were going to be pleased before we turned around. In a town that makes a concertgoer spoiled for choice, it's still rare to be so immediately on board with a performance.
Ending with "17 Horses" (our new favorite), Tidwell & Co. let the tension snap. It was a bold move to climax with a song that's a build-up in and of itself, but it was a ludicrously effective one. Heaving her body around the small stage, Tidwell had us concerned she'd crash into her band, all intently pounding away on their instruments, and pounding any question that there was any other place to have been that night.