If I only had a dollar for every song I’ve sung, Every time I had to play while people sat there drunk.
— Creedence Clearwater Revival
For music lovers going to the Briar Patch Festival tonight in Damascus, do yourselves a favor. By all means, catch Thomas Wynn & the Believers’ 8:40 p.m. set.
Thomas Wynn and the Believers ride siblings' soaring vocals
And as Thomas, his honey-voiced little sister Olivia and the rest of the boys in the band get deep into their performance, listen for what I expect will be perhaps the highlight of the weekend. It’ll start with Wynn’s guitar, sounding like a syrupy version of Creedence’s “Green River.” The CCR comparison becomes even more appropriate when Wynn begins singing, “Tried to write the wrongs undercover …”
Close your eyes, and you’ll swear that’s late-’60s-era John Fogerty at the microphone.
Hurry to get your votes in for the GA Music Awards!
Ahh, but when Olivia Wynn kicks in with her powerhouse backing vocals on the Believers’ 2012 original “Put It Back,” you realize all such comparisons are meaningless. This — it becomes all too obvious — is one of those once-in-a-generation originals that comes from a place deep within one man — and one band’s — soul.
Folks who really love music, and especially those anxious to discover new music, know it’s rare that a song comes along and instantly reaches that place deep inside that ignites their passion. It’s the place where Pearl Jam’s “Black” and Zeppelin’s “Going to California” and Metallica’s “One” and Monroe Brown’s “Sink Low” first served notice that they had become forever a part of your life.
It’s the place where S&G’s “The Boxer,” the Beatles “Rain” and Ben Harper’s “Amen Omen” have set up permanent residence.
“Put It Back” is one of those songs.
FRIDAY JAM: Albany's Dog Head releasing debut album Saturday.
There will be doubters who ask, “If this song is as good as you say it is, worth mentioning in the same breath as some of the greatest songs ever recorded, why aren’t Thomas Wynn & the Believers more than just an incredible regional band?” It’s that old, “If you’re so good, why aren’t you rich?” attitude.
To which I reply … Give them time, boys, just give them time.
Understanding the fickle nature of the music business, and especially the ever-changing loyalties of fans always searching for the next big thing, I’m all too aware that some of the most gifted musicians, writers, singers and bands ever to have taken up music never really made a dime off their talent, while certain flavor-of-the-moment hacks went on to fame and fortune. (You still out there, Sisquo?)
Sometimes, it’s all about timing.
“Put It Back” is not the only reason to champion the Wynns and their Believers. The Orlando rockers have put together an impressive body of work that anyone with computer access and speakers can sample. That being said, you’ll do yourself a favor if you check out the band’s in-studio video for “Put It Back.” From Thomas’ Stihl chainsaw hat and Frank Zappa T to Olivia’s impressive tattoo sleeve and even more impressive (dare we say hot?) piercing to Ryan Miranda’s perfectly timed backbeat to what may well be one of the coolest harmonica solos ever (take a bow, Bell Antemasaris), the song is perfect.
After interviewing Thomas Wynn for last week’s feature article, the band frontman asked if there was a particular song I wanted to hear at the Briar Patch show. When I immediately said “Put It Back,” Wynn chuckled and said, “You Georgia boys sure do love that song.”
Indeed we do, T.W., indeed we do.