What: Priestess with Flash Lightnin' and Barn Burner
When: Tomorrow, 9 p.m.
Tickets: $18 at Lyle's Place, Ditch Records and www.ticketweb.ca
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Darren Glover has done a little bit of everything musically.
The Victoria-born singer-guitarist did time on his own, as a sideman in various groups and as a member of local collective Velvet before trying his hand full time out east as a solo artist.
Glover has finally found the perfect vehicle for his talent in Toronto trio Flash Lightnin'; one riff into the group's southern-fried debut EP, Destello, is proof of that.
"The formula for our band is real simple: Old gear, old vibes," Glover said from a Calgary tour stop. "But it's 2008, so hopefully we're putting in a bit of a twist."
The sonic recipe for Flash Lightnin' is simple, but the music is deceptively complex. As it has always been with ZZ Top -- the group's biggest influence -- the key is to change the blues-rock dynamics just enough to keep fans interested.
"A Les Paul plugged into a Marshall, that's the backbone. Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, KISS, you name it. It's kind of a clichÃ©, but done right, it's right."
Glover, bassist Darcy Yates, and drummer Chris Henry spent almost two years as the house band for The Dakota, a popular Toronto club. The trio's weekly residency was red-hot; members of the city's notable acts, from Blue Rodeo and Billy Talent to Metric and Broken Social Scene, caught some of the group's guitar-driven southern rock.
Glover, who wrote the material on Destello as a veiled response to the city's musical hipsterism, had to laugh at the dichotomy. Glover, 33, now counts many of his band's famous fans as friends.
"The funny thing about our band is that nothing but hipsters came and see us. Our weekly had nothing but the guys from Metric and Broken Social Scene, Feist, you name it. We bridged that gap between hipsters and rock dudes."
His band is touring Canada for the first time as the opening act for Montreal rockers Priestess, which is a thrill, Glover said. But he still counts as a career highlight his summer meet-up with ZZ Top singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons.
The blues-rock legend apparently became a big fan of the band after Flash Lightnin' played ZZ Top's backstage area during a pre-concert dinner.
Glover loves how everything has come full circle for his band. It was, after all, ZZ Top which provided the impetus for forming the Toronto trio.
"I have a Les Paul player for years but I was going to pack it in," he says of the famous guitar, which is synonymous with ZZ Top. "I was getting tired of it. I downloaded a ZZ Top concert from 1980 and heard that and said, 'Forget it.' I found the problem I had wasn't the guitar. I just I needed to get a louder amp."