When: Thu., April 3, 9 p.m. 2014
Any entity that uses the word “orchestra” in its name and does not include Sun Ra, Jeff Lynne, or an actual orchestra is highly suspect in my book. But Justin Kalk and his nine-piece group earn a pass on the merits of their no-holds-barred rock ’n’ soul creation, a high-wire ballet complete with strings, brass and harmony singers. Even with this buffet of aural goodies to balance them out, Kalk’s massive blues guitar chops, as noteworthy for their taste as their technical proficiency, steal the show. As the JKO release their new single “Volcano,” recorded last fall at John McBride’s jaw-dropping Blackbird Studio complex, they call on two local power trios to party down. Also schooled in blues-based classic rock, Red Wine Hangover sneaks in some of the unusual vocal harmonies that made Alice in Chains stand out from the alt-pack. Shake the Forest is something completely different, filling their rock-pop palette with spaced-out electronic dance textures.
— Stephen Tragese