Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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Tom Shackleford
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New York rock band Mail The Horse are a musical cocktail made up of half part 1990s alternative/grunge dirtiness, and half country melodic bliss. Perhaps that is why they were the perfect opening act to Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez at Rough Trade in Brooklyn over the weekend. The gig was a homecoming show for both bands, who were ending a run of five east coast shows together with a party at the popular New York City venue.

Vasquez’s headlining set included music that was centered more around melodic power. Mail The Horse’s show however, is all about that groove that you rarely hear in rock anymore, especially from New York bands. The nearly sold-out venue was all theirs for an hour as they powered through eight songs, mostly off their 2015 Planet Gates and 2016 Magnolia albums.

The looseness heard during their set didn’t just come from the pedal steel guitar work of member Chris May. Even back in the dressing room prior to the show, the group’s relaxed, collective feel between the five of them isn’t that of hoping to impress the audience. It is their modernized sound of rural rock music that settles any anxiety they may have about what people may think of them. Their lively and fun organic sound was portrayed very enjoyably during “Best I Can” and “Backlash.” the band even took advantage of performing in front of their hometown fans by pulling out an unreleased track by the name of “Throw Shade.”

Closing their set with an appropriate cover of Tom Petty’s iconic hit, “Refugee,” helped to somewhat reiterate why they’ve been on a handful of large pop music festival posters over the past few years. Similar to the way artists like Aaron Lee Tasjan are helping to introduce real Americana rock to the mainstream in 2017, Mail The Horse also find their rhythm and relaxed swagger with a style of music that is still very fun to enjoy.

Setlist:
Shallow Water
Best I Can
Throw Shade (new song)
Backlash
All the Lights
Flowers Keys Gasoline
Magnolia
Refugee (Tom Petty cover)