The Revivalists from New Orleans debut at the High Sierra Music Festival, but don’t expect it to play a jazz funeral march.
“We’re just kind of a rock band with a New Orleans branch to it to: jazz, gospel and other stuff like that,” said pedal steel guitar player Ed Williams. “But basically we play rock music with layers of that other stuff.”
The band members came to NOLA to attend college at Tulane and Loyola. The Revivalists formed in 2007 and have recently started to rise in a city full of outstanding music.
In 2011 it was selected Best Emerging Artist at Gambit magazine’s Big Easy Awards, and was nominated for Best Rock Act in 2012.
“You can go anywhere and see great music,” Williams said. “The great part about it is they don’t have the competitive angle like (other cities). They let you be part of that scene but you have to be that much better just to be able to play at all. And it makes you that much better because you are surrounded by so much talent.”
Thursday and Friday’s High Sierra shows will be the second appearance in the area for the band. It played the Red Room after-party on the New Orleans night of last winter’s Snowlive in the Crystal Bay Casino. There is no question the Revivalists are a rock band, but little things, such as its percussion, give a taste of New Orleans.
“We all grew up on Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and we all have our separate influences,” said Williams, who plays Thursday a few hours before Robert Plant goes onstage. “We all grew up on rock music and that’s kind of what we play. The New Orleans flavor, that just kind of gets in there from living in New Orleans. That’s just going to happen.”
Williams looked forward to High Sierra.
“Our two favorites are the big outdoor shows and the late-night, small, sweaty ones,” he said. “The outdoor ones are great because you can really crank it up and do what you want and it’s great to play in front of a big crowd.”
High Sierra Music Festival
Thursday, Big Meadow Stage, 3:15-5:30 p.m.
Friday, Vaudville Stage, 3:15-4:30 p.m.