Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Midpoint Music Festival 9/25 – 9/27/14
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages perform on 9/25
Dig Thy Savage Soul is a wealth of atomic-powered, sock it to me R&B and rock & roll hoodoo. Barrence, possessing otherworldly pipes that range from a low feral growl rumbling the nether regions to a scream that would make Little Richard blush, belts out originals and crate-diver covers with the formidable and aptly-named Savages. They keep his back with a punk rock grit and blues ferocity that lives in the frets between Chuck Berry and Jack White. Together, Barrence and the Savages lay down a groovy racket that’s so thick and greasy, you need moist towelettes near the hi-fi.
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages shot out of Boston in the mid-‘80s with the force of a cannonball. Through their sweaty dance party shows and love of primal soul, they were to R&B what the Cramps were to rockabilly–a gateway musical drug for nascent underground roots mavens. Along with original Savages guitarist Peter Greenberg (The Lyres, DMZ) and bassist Phil Lenker, they released several records on Rounder, became a favorite of BBC DJ Andy Kershaw, toured with the likes of Bo Diddley, Tina Turner, and George Thorogood, and won seven Boston Music Awards. They re-united in 2011 with Savages Andy Jody on drums and Tom Quartulli on sax.