The Silks at The Fete Providence RI

Review and Photos by Brad LaVarnway
Let’s just cut to the chase. Rock fans, there is still hope. What I witnessed Friday night at the Fete was akin to pulling out the couch cushion and finding a $100 bill. Attending on a great tip, I was treated to a night of music many of your heros would be hard pressed to deliver.
I can hear the eyes rolling now, but if you are remotely a fan of rock, blues, country, and great musicianship, The Silks are your band. Let me sum up the show with a few choice adjectives…energetic, ballsy, whiskey soaked, virtuosic, swampy, professional, filthy and classic, rolled into a great mass of power.
A three piece band from Providence RI, The Silks immediately caught my attention as Singer/Guitarist Tyler James Kelly led the band through two of their own that featured simply nasty slide playing. This band not only sounded great, but had the look and attitude that is the embodiment of Rock n Roll.
The band keeps you guessing, switching gears, from straight up rock, blues, and Nashville style Country. (Let’s make this clear, we aint talkin’ Nu Country here). As the night wore on, I realized this band not only had the attitude, polished(and playful) stage presense, but were extremely accomplished players. Playing songs from their debut Record “Last American” band, I never felt that dissatifaction of hearing unfamiliar tunes. Songs like “Down at the Heel”, and “All in the Family” fit perfectly on classic rock radio, yet still fresh. Mixed with some tasty covers(Rolling Stones, Lou Reed for instance), the band rarely let you up for air. Kelly made sure the energy in the room was on high, getting the crowd engaged with some witty banter.
It can’t be stressed enough that the Silks are a well oiled machine. Bassist Jonas Parmelee and drummer Matt Donnelly had no issues keeping up with the different styles. Both players displayed great harmonies which added another dimension to the music. But make no mistake, Mr. Kelly is a worth the price of admission. A true musician in the classic sense, playing slide, finger picking, bluesy voice, the band’s song writer, a master in the making. Tyler-James wowed the audience with his blistering rendition of Jerry Reed‘s guitar picking masterpiece, Jerry’s Breakdown. Jaw dropping. I for one did not think I’d find such a player in his 20’s, especially in New England.
I noted many other details from the evening, but at the risk of getting long winded, I strongly urge you rock fans to see this hidden gem. Inspiring. American to the core, the Silks made a great mess of Fete. Their audience treated them as hometown heros.
Catch them while you can. If this band isn’t a part of the great Rock n Roll landscape in a few short years, I will have lost all faith in Rock’s resurrection.