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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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)
Somebody Help Me
It’s About A Passion
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
Changing Times (Maze cover)
All photos by Matt Wickstrom
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 34 – 8/27/18 (w/ DeBraun Thomas, Joslyn & The Sweet Compression, Petefest)
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 32 – 8/13/18 (w/ John R. Miller, Magnolia Boulevard, Katie Didit, Vivian Leigh)
- Premiere: Magnolia Boulevard mesh funky jams with hardship on ‘Ride’
- Wick’s Picks: Ep. 21 – 5/23/18 (w/ Magnolia Boulevard)
- ‘Something felt special from the first note’ — Lexington band’s first year ends in debut record
- Wick’s Picks: Joslyn & The Sweet Compression at Red Barn Radio
- Premiere: Joslyn & The Sweet Compression flash funk and soul on “Honey, Be”
- Wick’s Picks: Magnolia Boulevard LIVE in studio (1/31/18)
- A chance encounter and leap of faith led to Magnolia Boulevard