May 11, 2005 News & Features » Cover Story


Sin City Revival 

Getting It Together

There have been the occasional reversals. Their original name, Red Delicious, was already in use; after they selected Sin City they ran into competition from a movie and an AC/DC tribute band. An ideal rehearsal space became untenable when a neighbor complained about their not-insignificant volume. "Once the police started showing up, it was time to go," Fones says.

Now they're launching their career from a storage lockup next to the Hanover County Airport. The inside has been configured as a recording studio, the control room walled off with plywood, a door and a small glass window. The remaining space is unfinished on one side, and the other is covered with baffles and foam cones. It's so tight that the band has to practice in shifts, the vocalists working out their parts separately from the instrumentalists.

Tonight, preparing for their CD release party, the band is running through their set. Drummer Dave Smith is backed up against the divider, bassist/vocalist Ryan Underhill sits on a speaker on the left facing keyboard player Brian "Genius" Sperberg. Guitarists Brian Forbes and Dean Berry have the few square feet in front of the door, which keeps drifting open wider. Outside between the door and the closely parked cars, Jill Blankenship and Michelle Ford are snapping off backup singer moves and pouring out close harmonies.

It all meshes with an elastic discipline that dances just on the edge of abandon. Their sound is rooted in the blues, filtered through Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, and enriched with tinges of a dozen other genres.

"If you play well, eventually people will notice," Fones says. Sin City Revival is staking its future on the alchemy of talent, hard work and faith. For this band, accelerating into one of its new songs, with chords and choruses rocking out into the infinite reaches of a perfect spring night, anything seems possible. — Peter McElhinney

Sin City's debut album was released at the end of April. The band will perform at the Canal Club on May 21 at 11 p.m. The concert is free, and PBS will be taping its show "The Music Seen."

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