Midtown Social and The Turkey Buzzards

Life is meant to be lived. Whatever darkness there may be, it is equaled and surpassed by all the joy and hope and celebration that spews out of those who know how to conjure it. Even darkness and struggle may be cherished through the appropriate lens. Music has the power to lionize the entire spectrum, from the moments when your feet don’t touch the ground to the days when gravity seems to be picking on you, and through music we are able to feel all there is to be felt. Midtown Social and the Turkey Buzzards dive headfirst into this mysterious pool, opening themselves to whatever may befall them as if to say, “yes, we want it all,” and their work resonates with the authenticity of artists who are doing exactly what they’ve been put on this earth to do.

Midtown Social has no time for anything but awesome. They hold no wistful longings except for that which lies before them, and they gather up each moment and hoist it in the air so that everyone might see the magic that lies within. Their music bursts forth and permeates everyone in their audience, daring the most cynical, surly, and sullen of the lot to just try not to have the best time. They are what happiness sounds like. They’re playing a game they know they’re going to win, and with each driving bass line, each flourish of the fiddle, each vocal eruption… how could they possibly not. They dress life up to the nines, making it shimmer and shimmy and pirouette down the street, and if they are California Soul, then my god our state’s in good hands.

The Turkey Buzzards revel in life from the bottom up. They unearth, dust off, reassemble what others might overlook, and as they polish it they reveal a beauty as old as the hills. Their music seeks out the vagabonds and rabble-rousers and ne’er-do-wells, tips its hat and says, “how’d you do” while it winks and proceeds to demonstrate just how high it can raise the low. Their path unravels before them at their own pace, according to their own plan, and along the way they’re collecting the characters and settings and extraordinary circumstances that will eventually manifest into the songs you’ll teach your grandchildren. They are folk heroes in the flesh and they take to the road as if chasing their next breath. Life swirls around them, and there they are, ready to welcome it all.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” These bands are constantly challenging themselves to propel their music beyond their dreams and connect with people in absolutely every way possible. As we sit here, at the height of summer, in one of the world’s most magical places, we get to hear them, to join them, to help them take us higher. We get to laugh and dance and smile until it hurts. We get to have fun. Oh mama, we get to go out and live…