There is a place called California where people still believe in world peace, essential Oneness, and love. I wouldn’t believe it either if I hadn’t recently lived there and met many a genuine hippie. The dream of the ‘60s lives on and beats in the hearts of the flower children’s children. Of these free spirits exists a band called The Mowgli’s, and they recently took down the house at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley.
This merry band from sunny L.A. came to shine a little light on Nashville, and all present felt grateful to receive it. The audience chattered, “I want to be their friend,” “They make me so happy,” and “Are all the bartenders wearing The Mowgli’s tank tops?” (They were.)
The general vibe of their performance was joyful cohesion. The effortlessness surrounding this was impressive because any seasoned music fan knows that cohesion actually takes a lot of effort, especially when eight band members are on stage at a modest 500-person venue. (Props to the sound lady at 3rd & Lindsley, too.)
While the band was totally attuned to each other and the crowd, each member was very much in his or her own world of blissful music making. The Mowgli’s created their own vivacious energy, and the crowd fed off of it, clapping and singing along the whole time.
The band took us through each song off their debut release with Photo Finish/Island Records, Waiting for the Dawn. Much to Nashville’s delight, The Mowgli’s synchronized whistling song “Clean Light” was dedicated to Music City, the hometown of their percussion/melodica man Spencer Trent. But the last song of the set, “San Francisco,” was the energy high of the night. The whole crowd belted the lyrics, “I’ve been in love with love and the idea of something binding us together. You know that love is strong enough.” I still haven’t gotten the tune out of my head. The encore mellowed the crowd out with a tasteful cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless Helpless”, and we all buoyantly left 3rd & Lindsley inspired to perform random acts of kindness.
Unjaded individuals who love tambourines, guitar hooks, vocal harmonies, and smokin’ hot, redhead lead singers should scoop up some of the happiness that The Mowgli’s offer in abundance. If they’re coming to a modestly sized venue near you, or any venue for that matter, catch them now while you can still see Katie Jayne Earl’s fantastic red hair and Matthew Di Panni’s The Goonies t-shirt. These guys are bound for very big stages, so it won’t last long.
After dabbling in many parts of the music industry—recording studios, PR, management, labels, publishing—I’m expanding into music journalism because I’m yet to find anything more rewarding that finding and sharing new music.
A longtime sucker for girls with guitars, my musical taste unabashedly follows the songwriting lineage of Dolly Parton and includes Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, and Neko Case. But not to pigeonhole myself, my music love is big love that stretches from R.L. Burnside to Animal Collective to Lord Huron.
I’ve recently moved home to Nashville after living in Boston and Big Sur for several years. I’d forgotten how music pours onto the streets ten hours a day, seven days a week. I’m honored to share the creative explosion happening here. If your band is in the area or of the area, please reach out!
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