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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Oakley Hall defines ambiguous genre

    Describing Oakley Hall’s sound can be quite a daunting task. The Brooklyn-based “”roots rock”” band, or “”alternative country”” band, or even “”twangy country rock”” band, depending on the Web site, has recently spent much of its time captivating crowds nationwide with celestial vocals and psychedelic banjos solo’s.

    The six-man band (a far cry from the original ten-man set) boasts a coed singing duo composed of the band’s founder, Pat Sullivan, and the ever-so-talented Rachel Cox, who has the ability to paralyze listeners with her angelic voice.

    “”As I was growing up, I was always singing,”” Cox said. “”I really broke through, though, when I auditioned for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in grade school.””

    Now, as she plays the part of alluring singer/rhythm guitarist for Oakley Hall, those days when she sat in her North Carolina living room singing to Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin records must seem like ancient history.

    Like the rest of her band mates, Cox now calls Brooklyn, New York home, which naturally seems like an odd location for a country rock band.

    “”The band is a real southern meets northern situation,”” Cox said. “”It’s like sitting on the porch of an old country house in the middle of Brooklyn.””

    Having played stints in various bands throughout North Carolina, including Crazy In Heaven and The Podunks, a band she described as “”Hank Williams meets punk,”” Oakley Hall has proved to be her first matured musical experience.

    “”It’s a real focused situation and a lot less distracting than some of my previous projects,”” Cox said.

    The band plans to release a second album, Gypsum String, in the coming months. The album, which follows its debut, Second Guessing, features thunderous solos, frank lyrics and fiddles played with effect pedals. At times the album can sound as hypnotizing as a Grateful Dead live set, or like a hardcore bluegrass band, thrashing around the stage in flannel shirts and hefty beards, fueled by the voice of an almighty woman.

    “”The new album is a lot more dynamic than our first,”” said Cox. “”It’s way more amped up and a lot more interesting.””

    Just as their fiery sound can ignite a concert hall, so can their lyrics. Dealing with everything from high rent prices to lost spirituality, the band seems to tackle an array of heavy-hitting topics.

    “”We deal with some very mature subject matter,”” Cox said.

    The band is currently on a national tour and plans to hit Tucson on Monday. Cox is extremely quick to reveal her familiarity with the Old Pueblo.

    “”I stopped in Tucson on a road trip some years back,”” Cox said. “”The Saguaro National Park was beautiful, but it’s fuckin’ hot there.””

    Oakley Hall will be playing at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Monday. The show is 21 and over and tickets are $8.

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