Sunday, December 16

Rosewood Thieves

New York's Rosewood Thieves bring a classic rock sound to the current music scene

Rosewood Thieves

Maybe members of Generation Y did learn something in the wake of their parents’ legendary psychedelic rock joyride of the ’70s after all.

Amid a youth culture of college students chanting the electro-pop mantra “I’m in L.A., trick!” comes a breath of fresh air in the form of the Rosewood Thieves, a group of classic rock-inspired indie rockers from upstate New York.

Coming to the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday via a cross-country tour, the Thieves are touting an innovative six-track EP, “Heartaches by the Pound,” a tribute to ’60s soul and R&B tycoon Solomon Burke.

“We’re big fans of Burke,” said Mackenzie Vernacchio, Rosewood Thieves organist. “Ever since (Thieves lead singer) Erick (Jordan) heard the Zombies covering him, we’ve been listening to him a lot. We thought it would be cool to cover him. We tried to figure out what core musical parts we could use from his recordings, and then put our own spin on it.”

With a rich, viscous tone eerily akin to that of Bob Dylan, Jordan croons “Get Out of My Life, Woman” off of “Heartaches By the Pound” with the vocal swagger and vibrant character of a teenage Mick Jagger. Accompanied by a fuzzed-out bass line and a warbled guitar chord progression, the track will transport any seasoned music connoisseur back to an era of tie dye-clad love children and Woodstock mania.

When asked about the Thieves’ collective musical backgrounds, Jordan recalled a well-rounded musical upbringing shared by all members of the group.

“We all grew up in musical households with a ton of instruments always lying around, and we all had our own guitars growing up. All of us learned how to play a little bit of everything, so it’s a lot of fun to switch off on instruments when we practice,” Jordan said.

The New York partners in crime are not restricting their tour set to tracks off of the newborn “Heartaches by the Pound,” but will also be showcasing songs from the entirety of their earlier albums, including “From the Decker House” (2006), “Lonesome” (2007) and “Rise & Shine” (2008).

“We’ll definitely be expanding from “˜Heartaches By the Pound.’ We’ve been doing a more rocking set,” guitarist Paul Jenkins said. “I think it’s just part of our musical lexicon to want to mix things up.”

In an age where college students have been swept off their feet by the tidal wave of electronica, distorted dance beats and an influx of computer-generated, slightly unsettling mash-ups (Girl Talk, the Hood Internet), the Rosewood Thieves provide our culture with a sometimes necessary, surprisingly fresh reality check.

As a new band that is expanding musical horizons on a different plane than most other modern groups, the Rosewood Thieves give musical pioneers a solid grounding. With the ability to take a reminiscently dreamy, classic ’60s and ’70s rock feel to the level of the 21st century East Coast scenester, the Rosewood Thieves are a prime example of knowledgeable musical-boundary testing.

Though the Thieves fit into their blase New York indie-hipster image like a perfectly fitted leather glove, they in fact have roots in California, which they raved about revisiting on tour.

“Erick and I went to high school together at a boarding school in California,” Vernacchio said. “We both ended up moving to New York when we started the band, and we met Paul through other musician friends in the area.”

The band is highly anticipating the West Coast portion of its cross-country trip.

“We can’t wait to get back to L.A.; we always have a lot of fun there. It seems like it’s always the highlight of the tour,” Jordan said.

“Los Angeles” is the group’s first track on its first-ever released EP (“From the Decker House”), inarguably documenting the Rosewood Thieves’ California love with such telling lyrics rolling off of their tongues as “I got some friends in L.A. / telling me to head out their way / ’cause they know I’m in love with the sun.”

The Rosewood Thieves are heading westward with some old-school love in a new-school package.

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