Live Music Review // Audio Jane / Ghostwoods / Lee Totten
September 23rd, 2023
at Oh Momma's, Middletown CT

Additional photos can be found on Facebook here :::

For a while now, I've been hearing about these shows at Oh Momma's and this was the first time we were able to make it out to one.   To put this into perspective in the best possible way, there was a Middletown Pride karaoke event going on at Oh Momma's prior to this show.   I think that just set the tone for a wonderful evening of music and we did get there somewhat early (about an hour before) and we heard some of the karaoke.  It was all so good and I could never sing like that.

Lee Totten took to the stage first and he sang songs while playing an acoustic guitar.  It was somewhere between that rock n roll swagger and punk rock.   As Lee Totten talked about his experiences which lead to certain songs, this really also felt like an episode of "Storytellers", which used to be on VH1 but I'm not sure if it still is (or how to watch VH1)  But I definitely enjoyed how it felt like the songs were these personal tales of Lee Totten but in some ways we all felt like we could relate.

One thing I'm somewhat humbled by is that Lee Totten is best known perhaps for writing "The Jager Song", which was on modern rock radio back in 1999.  I've obviously heard that song before but never put two and two together that this was that guy, even though his social media is at "thejagerguy", but that was one of those pleasant surprises that just makes me feel good about not doing my homework before going to a show.   I also really enjoyed the song "Highs & Lows", which he closed with.  I think I might end up remembering him more for that song now.

Ghostwoods is a band that I feel like really won me over on Bandcamp because they have two cover songs of Nirvana and their artwork for "Let Me In" is a cassette.  I mean, obviously if you're doing something with cassettes that's going to pique my interest, but Ghostwoods is also a really, really good band.  On Wednesday night I felt like I was blown away by Audio Jane and there was no way I was going to miss this show, also because I'd be bringing Jess along and I felt like she'd really love what Audio Jane was doing as well.

In between Wednesday and Saturday, Jess spent time listening to Ghostwoods and fell in love with them.   Their sound blends so many different elements that it's not easy to put into a genre or compare it with another artist, but it's definitely got these elements of rock with big distortion and then at times when there isn't singing there can be screaming.  This might not be the general idea of what "post hardcore" is, but this is what I think of when I see that genre somewhere.  

This feels like it could be based on your influences and it doesn't apply to every song but the only band I think I've ever seen live that Ghostwoods has reminded me of was Thrice.   I also really feel like they may not line up exactly musically, but I feel like Ghostwoods and Chevelle have similar structures in their sounds.   I think Chevelle is one of those bands we don't talk about enough and I'm just so into them.   But, ultimately, it's just this sound that's unlike anything else you've ever heard and may ever hear again.   You need to hear it at least once just so you know.

As Audio Jane took to the stage to headline, I was listening for that song which reminded me of the Gin Blossoms on Wednesday so I could be more specific with it but I didn't hear it this time.  Between Oh Momma's and Cafe Nine, I was near the speakers both times but the music still just comes out in this wave that feels like it could floor you.  Being that these are somewhat smaller spaces, I'd really love to hear Audio Jane somewhere outside, just to kind of feel the music when it doesn't seem so contained.

One thing I also thought on Wednesday that I feel now is how special it should feel to see three artists together who are all so very talented at what they're doing.  It's not just "Oh, I'm here for Audio Jane again" because Ghostwoods and Lee Totten are damn talented as well.  And they all bring something different to the stage, which I think goes to show how amazing the CT music scene is right now (and surrounding areas) 

I also really like that I'm able to attend these shows now because I've known bands in the 1990's that have a similar sound to Audio Jane and have been really big and I've known bands even now that have a similar sound with Audio Jane and are big.   It's not that the music sounds the same, it's more along the lines of if someone in a similar genre can have sold out shows in large venues I don't see why Audio Jane won't eventually.   CT's best kept secrets can only stay a secret for so long.

Imo the best way to stay up to date with Oh Momma shows is on their Facebook page :::

Audio Jane can be found on the web here :::

Ghostwoods can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Lee Totten can be found on the web here :::


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