Saturday, February 2, 2008

AMERICAN BLOOMERS @ The Viper Room

AMERICAN BLOOMERS
Jaime Wyatt, Vocals & Guitar
Jonathan Sheldon, Guitar & Vocals
Jane Sheldon, Bass & Vocals


Jaime Wyatt of American Bloomers

Offstage, the American Bloomers are a reserved youthful bunch, greeting me with genuine, courteous smiles before the show. Onstage, it’s a different story. Exuding graceful confidence onstage, they perform their songs about life filled with heartbreak as though they’ve lived through every note of it. Like the calm before the storm, the American Bloomers are the ray of sunlight trying to pierce through the dark clouds.

Consisting of Jonathan Sheldon on guitar, Jane Sheldon on bass and Jaime Wyatt on guitar and vocals, The American Bloomers sound much older than they actually look. Having a fresh take on the classic rock sound, they paint their songs with Jonathon’s rustic guitars and Jane’s warm bass. Listing influences such as Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, their textured sound is rich but not too overpowering allowing Jaime’s voice, cool and weathered, to gently soar above the instrumentals with deep emotion.


Jaime Wyatt & Jane Sheldon of American Bloomers


Jaime first met Jonathan at a screening of a movie that he produced. At the time, siblings Jonathan and Jane had been writing songs inspired by Fleetwood Mac and when Jonathan mentioned this to Jaime, she expressed interest in filling in the role of Stevie Nicks. Thus began the writing sessions in which the trio quickly came up with an album’s worth of songs. The songs just came so naturally with a quality to them according to Jonathan describing their first writing sessions. And it’s not surprising given that all three come from extensive musical backgrounds.

A transplant from Seattle, Jaime’s quest for a new record deal landed her in Los Angeles. With an EP under her belt and already releasing several songs on soundtracks including “Wicker Park” her song “Lightswitch” was featured in a compilation with the likes of “Death Cab for Cutie,” “Stereophonics” and “Mazzy Star.” With his previous band Naked, Jonathan signed to MCA Records and wrote several songs that got playtime on mainstream radio. Jane studied at the highly respected music school, Berklee School of Music and predominantly plays keys, bass and guitar.

After previous attempts to catch American Bloomers live, I finally got the chance last Sunday at the Viper Room. Their songs, such as “Sugar Skies,” includes lush, blue-collar, Petty-esque arrangements that could easily have been overplayed and, most importantly, could’ve lost the emotional vocals of Jaime but they pull it off with ease by writing simple melodies which translate effortlessly live onstage. In “Rough Diamond,” about an artist on an endless pursuit of enlightenment through self-destruction, the American Bloomers truly show that less is more, proving that songs don’t need to be too busy. They know that they have a gem in a voice of Jaime and they don’t want to hide it behind complex arrangements. Add to their songs Jane’s captivating backing vocals and their sound becomes complete and balanced - a compliment to Jaime’s vocals.

“I’ve been playing music my whole life, but with the Bloomers I knew we were on to something really special. You can’t quantify it,” Jane says.


American Bloomers

Ironically, “Faded,” the first song they ever wrote together ended their set this night. The story follows a drunken lover who keeps trying to prove a point while being completely inebriated, or faded. Like the stories Jaime sings about, she sounds as though she has gone through the suffering and heartache. The stage is her outlet, verging on splitting the dark clouds and releasing floods of emotion.

I really can't say enough about how much I love this band. They know how to tap into your inner passions and sensations. They dub their sound as songs that "...echo of love, heartbreak, heartwake..." with the "...perils of simply being human in a world where it is so easy to be complex and evermore difficut to be simple." And by using their pure talent of playing and songwriting, they are not trying to re-invent classic rock, they’re just putting a refreshing spin on it.

“I feel like I’ve come full circle with American Bloomers,” says Jonathan. “This is the band I’ve been waiting to be in.”

Check out more pics from that night in our pics page HERE! For more info on American Bloomers and their upcoming album and tour dates, click HERE!

In the meatime, here are the American Bloomers performing "FADED" at the Viper Room. Enjoy!


American Bloomers performing, "Faded."