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Thursday, May 5, 2016

'Whiskey' shows off range of influences, talents

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Brothers Kenn (drums) and Dennis Furr are two components that make up If By Whiskey, which performed Saturday at The Verve in Terre Haute. The trio was rounded out by guitarist and lead vocalist Brandon Tinkler.
TERRE HAUTE -- Amid a background that included posters of artists as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie, the Beatles, Johnny Cash and Morrissey, If By Whiskey played Terre Haute's The Verve Saturday night, sporting a set of covers and originals as varied as the pictures on the wall.

What do you have when a three-piece country rock outfit covers Queen's "Under Pressure" and pulls it off very well? A rockin' good time of an evening.

The band features brothers Dennis and Kenn Furr on bass and drums, respectively. The two Cloverdale natives are joined by Brandon Tinkler on guitar and vocals.

Generally, the lineup is filled out by Matt Elkins on pedal steel, guitar and background vocals, but they performed as a trio on Saturday.

The band's stylings are mainly country rock, featuring covers of artists such as Ryan Adams and Gram Parsons, but delved into many other areas such as classic rock (Queen, The Rolling Stones), alternative (Stone Temple Pilots, Dinosaur Jr.) and even classic country (Lefty Frizzell's "Long Black Veil").

"Long Black Veil" was one of the highlights of the evening, modernizing a classic of country music. The band took what already is a sad song of man wrongly executed for murder and his mourning lover and managed to make it even darker.

A marching beat from Kenn and foreboding work on the string from Dennis and Tinkler took the music itself to a darker place than the original. Besides this, the general pacing of the song and a couple of extended solos drew the drama out even further.

The modest crowd was privileged to see a song undergo such a transformation.

It isn't all about the covers with this band, though. They sprinkled in a number of originals throughout the evening, with the final set being heavy on tracks penned by Tinkler.

Brandon Tinkler sings and plays guitar in If By Whiskey. He also opened Saturday's show with a solo acoustic set.
Of the originals, the most impressive was probably "It's All Over Now," which concluded the band's first set. After tearing through a number of covers and doing an outstanding job on them, the band found another gear for playing their own work. The playing was more textured, the vocals more soulful -- their pride in their own work shining through.

They also showed themselves to be a quality bar band, listening to their audience taking requests on more than one occasion.

"By request, we're going to do something for you," Dennis said. "Off the books, off the setlist, off the record, on the fly."

They then lit into Neil Young's "Harvest Moon," which so delighted the crowd that several couples came to the front of the stage to dance. Afterward, Dennis admitted to it being the first time they'd played the track as a band.

The show opened in a quieter way, as Tinkler took the stage alone for a seven-song set, just a singer and an acoustic guitar. The set of covers including Adams, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters and the Beatles set the right tone for the evening.

The band will play Terre Haute again on Sept. 25, playing the northwest corner of 9th St. and Wabash Ave. at 9 p.m. They will also be in Greencastle at The Fluttering Duck at 9 p.m. Oct. 22.

They will also be entering the studio in early October for work on an album they hope to have out this winter.

Saturday's show was made all the more impressive by how the band plays missing one fourth of its lineup. This is a band to watch, with or without its fourth member.

Learn more at www.ifbywhiskey.net