Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By R O Donnell
FCE Staff 

Wells and the Gathering, Fiddle Flavored


Last updated 5/22/2016 at 5:58am | View PDF

Wells and the Gathering - Michael Jadlos, Greg Jadlos, David Wells, Amber Nezezon

I first stumbled upon The Band Wells and the Gathering at a St. Patrick's gig at the eclectic Pickens Hall this March. Of course, they were more than prepared to entertain the intimate yet enthusiastic crowd with some pretty saucy old standards and additionally worthy originals peppered into the blend. Sometimes the drummer needed to soften his wonderfully enthusiastic licks (more technical than skill related) but overall The Band offered quite a zealous entertaining set.

"We're fiddle flavored," declared the leader of The Band, David Wells. "We're not a genre group, as we play whatever we want. If it sounds good, feels good, we'll go for it!" And I believe him. As The Band played everything that night from Frederic Weatherly's famous ballad "Danny Boy" to The Charlie Daniels Band's Grammy Award-winning "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," to Well's soulful "In These Northern Skies", in that, they were undeniably a smorgasbord of Savory sound. But it was the "fiddle flavor" indeed that set them far apart from other northern musical performances to date.

In Amber Nezezon's sizzling bowing revealed a bonafide luminary. She's a gifted artist peeking through the stage curtains that should be raised completely, with a spotlight squarely directed on her demanding complete and utter veneration. For she was jaw dropping to say the least. Her violin was electric but she, too, seemed plugged in and amplified to perfection. Amber is an instrumentalist almost too powerful for small and intimate venues. She's a rock star of a talent that reminded me of Britain's Vanessa-Mae or more recently Lettice Rowbotham. They're all über talented musicians that bring a magnificent surge of visceral sexuality to their concerts along with oodles of intuition and skill.

This isn't meant to downplay David Wells, whose voice and musical skills also merit attention. For his poignant lyrics, singing, and guitar playing are of the highest quality. Drummer Michael Jadlos, who started hitting the skins while still a junior in high school, certainly proved his love for the art. And the same goes for seasoned vet Greg Jadlos. He masterfully fingered his 5-string electric bass with great ease and playful daring. Having shared the stage with such bands as The Desperados, Topaz, The North Country Preservation Jazz Band, and The Redeemed, among many others, he certainly brings a wealth of experience to the mix.

With Wells and the Gathering, you'll find an enjoyable blend of covers and originals but Nezezon's celebrity is hard to overlook. Once she broke loose with her rendition of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," it was all I wanted to hear: more and more of her sassy strings piercing through the air. And with her tremendous euphonious sound, playing a sort of musical peek-a-boo within Wells' soulful tunes, it was a haunting and awe-inspiring presentation I won't soon forget.

Ultimately, Wells and the Gathering is a tough act to label. And that seems to be exactly what Wells has in mind. His influences as a kid are as heterogeneous as his offerings. Growing up he was enamored with the hard rock band Kiss and their 1977 offering Kiss Live II album. With their dynamic live stage presence, David believes they opened his eyes to recorded live concerts. "Nothing beats live," he said, "And that album taught me that better than anything else." More influences came from his parents who kept the house humming with everything from classic rock to classic country. "At home you would hear rock and roll and old country like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. And the only instrument we ever had was a guitar. My sister and my dad both played. But I started as a lyricist and then eventually went on to percussion and then finally guitar."

Wells and the Gathering are working on their soon to be released CD that, encouraged by that Kiss Live II album, is a compilation of songs recorded, you guessed it, live. Head to their website to hear a few samples and I believe you'll find the whole "live thing" a good call. It's cool to hear banter before the songs and the crowd cheering them on. You know, like being there and all that – great fun.

Back stage - Greg Jadlos, Michael Jadlos, Amber Nezezon, David Wells

With all his diversity, talent, and many inspirations, it's no mystery that David's band Wells and the Gathering would offer a variety of musical genres. After hearing them play at the newly refurbished SIPS bar in Ogdensburg, NY, Friday night, it seemed another animated crowd could give two-hoots about the genre they were dancing to, as they were all too busy enjoying themselves. And in that, too, was another secret to Wells and the Gathering's growing success. Go for The Band, stay for the fiddle flavor.

Wells and the Gathering are David Wells, Greg Jadlos, Michael Jadlos and Amber Nezezon

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