This past Thursday, I made my way down to The Bug Jar to check out Josh Netsky ‘ The Honeybears’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are” tribute concert.
The stage was set with appropriate decorations, and the band members donned furry ears to mimic the book’s characters. Netsky, a student in the music business program at Nazareth College and a member of the local band The Demos, was playing with the Honeybears. His guitar and vocals were joined by ‘Overhand” Sam Snyder on guitar, Ryan Farnung on drums and Dan Munier on bass, along with auxiliary percussion for a number of tunes.
Netsky’s writing has its influences in folk rock, Americana and psychedelia. His voice is thin and haunting, accompanied by an eerie overlay of reverb. Alone, Netsky’s solo music is solid, but he truly shines when joined by his band. The stomp-along beat provided by the drums, bass and auxiliary percussion propels the band’s music forward.
Snyder’s virtuosic guitar playing surely doesn’t hurt not only does he play in an unusual style with his hand above the fret board, but he stands out as one of the best guitarists I’ve heard and is currently climbing the ladder of Guitar Center’s ‘King of the Blues” competition. It is not just his chops that make Snyder stand out it’s his choice to back off and fill out the band’s sound with a lush soundscape instead of cranking out solos at the music’s expense.
The band opened with a song off the ‘Where the Wild Things Are” soundtrack by Daniel Johnson, called ‘Worried Shoes.” Their rendition was great, but it wasn’t until their next song the original ‘Whiskey on the Stones” that the crowd (and the band) really started to get into the groove.
Their set continued with one high-energy song after another, the drums and percussion synced remarkably well. Their original ‘Sunshine” stood out as well (also my favorite from their album ‘David’s Interlude”) with its especially catchy lyrics and bluesy guitar.
Their cover of MGMT’s ‘Kids” was good it started a bit rough but pulled together. Snyder’s searing guitar solo made it end with a bang. They continued with several more original tunes all great and closed with an excellent version of Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow along as the band and audience ventured off to see a midnight showing of the movie, but it was a great night nonetheless.
The band recently released a full-length album titled ‘David’s Interlude.” On first listen, the album can be tough to get into Netsky’s vocals come across a bit coarse, and the album doesn’t benefit from the strong rhythm of their live shows.
However, with repeated listens, this album truly begins to shine; the writing is absolutely excellent and the album is surprisingly well-produced for a local college-age artist.
Netsky’s music sounds authentic, and his ability to bring together folk-rock instrumentation with a strong Radiohead influence is impressive.
The first song, ‘My Blues,” opens up with a bubbling array of noises followed by a rich acoustic guitar and vocals surrounded in a wash of reverb and lush backgrounds.
‘Save a Cowboy, Ride a Horse” is a good tune as well, and the fifth track, ‘Sunshine,” stands out particularly strong with a catchy chorus and a great delta-blues guitar backing from Snyder.
The album has its highs and its lows, but overall ‘David’s Interlude” is a beautifully flowing album that is full of remarkable writing.
But a live setting is where the band truly shines, and John Netsky and the Honeybears is definitely one band to make sure to keep your eyes on as they only continue to further grow their local fan base.
Brown is a member of the class of 2011.



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