BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Raleigh County ensemble, Alabaster Boxer recorded material for a brand-new live album over the weekend at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre, inviting hundreds of their closest friends to come along for the ride.
Having first made waves during the promotion of 2023’s, Currency of Dreams studio album, Alabaster Boxer has emerged as arguably the most exciting act on the local scene at the moment – incorporating some of the most gifted musical minds throughout the area in a fluid, rotating cast of members not dissimilar to the structural makeup of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band.
Over half-a-dozen such collaborators would take the stage on Saturday to give life to the tunes which make up Currency of Dreams, with some familiar tunes being taken in new and fascinating directions.
At the heart of Alabaster Boxer is founding member Nick Durm, whose songwriting sensibility and knack for impeccable pop melodies coalesce with a contagious enthusiasm and affable everyman quality which endow the project with an unmistakable sense of identity.
An array of personalities were given space to shine during Saturday’s performance, however, with organic banter amongst band members between songs providing nearly as much in entertainment value as the songs themselves.
Despite maintaining a stationary position on keys near the rear of the stage for the duration of the performance, multi-instrumentalist and WV Collective President, Jason Lockart managed to cast a larger-than-life presence throughout the show, spearheading quips and dialogue between performers and providing background to some of the songs played.
Bill Fraley (bass/vocals) and Scott Hinkle (drums/vocals) provided an anchor to proceedings as the rhythm section, while Durm (vocals/guitar), Lockart (keys/vocals/percussion), Brian Bell (guitar), and Corey Lee McQuade (banjo/dobro/vocals) filled things out melodically.
Multiple guests were invited on stage to get in on the action as well, including multi-instrumentalist Matt Deal, who served as emcee for the event as well. Also featured were bluegrass mandolinist, Chandler Beavers, and the First Lady of Alabaster Boxer, Jessica Hypes, who provided vocals for two numbers.
The Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre served as an ideal venue to take in the evening, as the unique seating structure provides all in attendance with a terrific view of the performers on stage. Also of note were the discernable quality of the lighting, as well as the mixing and overall presentation of the sound itself – the latter a factor which bodes particularly well for those purchasing their own vinyl copy of the performance.
For more information on Alabaster Boxer, including upcoming shows, merch, where to listen, and more, visit the Alabaster Boxer website.