Joslyn & The Sweet Compression celebrate debut release in style with Magnolia Boulevard

By Matt Wickstrom

Joslyn Hampton of Joslyn & The Sweet Compression dazzled at the band’s EP release at The Burl on Nov. 17. Photo by Matt Wickstrom.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — There wasn’t a knook or cranny of The Burl without a body occupying it last Saturday when two Lexington heavyweights, Magnolia Boulevard and Joslyn & The Sweet Compression, teamed up for an evening of epic proportions to celebrate the debut full-length album from Joslyn.

Fans pack in front ofThe Burl stage to see Magnolia Boulevard on Nov. 17. Photo by Matt Wickstrom.

While this night belonged to Joslyn & The Sweet Compression, Magnolia Boulevard did a fantastic job setting the stage with an intoxicating blend of rock, blues and soul. The group’s stock has skyrocketed in recent months, catching the attention of PRS Guitars’ Paul Reed Smith at a show outside Wilcutt Guitars in May, which led to appearances at several PRS engagements, an official endorsement and the opportunity to work personally in the studio with Mr. Smith himself.

Pictured L-R: Ryan Allen, Maggie Noelle, Gregg Erwin and John Roberts of Magnolia Boulevard perform at The Burl on Nov. 17. Photo by Matt Wickstrom.

The band’s groove continues to tighten with each show, most notably the spot-on precision from Todd Copeland on drums, finesse of John Roberts on bass and Ryan Allen’s growing confidence on keys. However, the heart that drives the band remains to be jarring vocals of Maggie Noelle, who continues to have her confidence blossom singing and dancing across every inch of the stage, and guitarist Gregg Erwin, whose solos grow more complex by the day, navigating (and sliding down) a path not many but he could, and doing it with style and ease. 

Marty Charters of Joslyn & The Sweet Compression feeling the groove at The Burl on Nov. 17. Photo by Matt Wickstrom.

With anticipation building, The Sweet Compression took to the stage and began laying down a funky musical canvas to fully reel the crowd in before Joslyn Hampton took the stage to enormous applause prior to busting out with the rhetorical “What Did You Think Was Gonna Happen?” Within no time Hampton had the entire club wide-eyed and picking their jaws up from the floor in awe of Hampton’s dynamite vocals.

Joslyn Hampton of Joslyn & The Sweet Compression urges the crowd to sing along as bassist Smith Donaldson watches on at The Burl on Nov. 17. Photo by Matt Wickstrom.

Joining Hampton and other cast members Marty Charters on guitar, Rashawn Fleming on drums, Steve Holloman on keys and Smith Donaldson on bass were a new and expanded brass section with Ben Walkenhauer on tenor sax, Kyle Fox on trumpet and Chase Fleming on trombone. Coincidentally Walkenhauer also performed in the studio at Shangri-la Productions with the band recording their album, providing the reunion of sorts for the night’s celebration.

In addition to performing several cuts from their debut album, Joslyn & The Sweet Compression honored several of their musical influences throughout the evening with covers of Parliament, Sly & The Family Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival, among others. Hampton also offered up dazzling performances of two of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s hits in “Dr. Feelgood” and “Spanish Harlem,” proving that Hampton is the Queen of Kentucky, handling Franklin’s songs like few others can.

View full setlists of both Magnolia Boulevard and Joslyn & The Sweet Compressions performances below.

Magnolia Boulevard 11/17/18

Statesboro Blues (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Who Loves Ya
Smooth Sailin’
Without You
Payday (Aquarium Rescue Unit cover)
Strong Willed Woman

Joslyn & The Sweet Compression 11/17/18

What Did You Think Was Gonna Happen?
Love On The Double
Wise Fools
Do That Stuff (Parliament cover)
If I Break It Down
Sing A Simple Song (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Closure (Jill Scott cover)
Don’t You Bother
Dr. Feelgood (Aretha Franklin cover)
Spanish Harlem (Aretha Franklin version cover)
Honey, Be
Somebody Help Me
It’s About A Passion
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Bona Fide
Changing Times (Maze cover)

All photos by Matt Wickstrom


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