Rowland remains in the right place

The Sinclair, Cambridge, Mass., March 10, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Mitch Rowland proved that being in the right place at the right time can pay dividends. He was available to be a session guitarist for Harry Styles' solo debut after someone dropped out last minute.

And that led to touring with Styles along with writing songs that appeared on his releases. And the former resulted in him meeting Sarah Jones, who just happened to be the drummer on Styles' tours, and later became his wife.

So, perhaps it was no surprise that Rowland's show show was sold out months in advance. And it sure seemed like Styles' fans were out in force to hear Rowland, who released his solo debut disc, "Come June," last summer.

Rowland was no Harry Styles in this low-key, but efficient set that clocked in at about 55 minutes. Wearing a black knitted skip cap, Rowland alternated between jazzy-flavored songs that emphasized his backing band along with a few more radio friendly tracks. Rowland played all but one of the dozen songs on "Come June."

Rowland was not exactly the most dynamic singer up there with not a lot of variety in his delivery. He often kept his eyes looking down while singing.

Jones was simply a dynamo on drums. She was not the type of drummer, however, who was fond of pounding the skins. Instead, she was quite comfortable setting the pace with a very light touch for most of the night. It was only on the encore – a cover of Velvet Underground's "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'," which ended the short show with a different musical direction – that found Jones be a tour de force. Rowland made a great choice in keeping the drumming in-house.

The Cincinnati native engaged the crowd, although he seemed more at ease simply playing his songs. And the biggest hand - make that screams from the overwhelmingly female and young (many of them were probably in high school) - went to Jones.

Rowland obviously was not trying to be the second coming of Styles. This show was more about the music than any sort of flash. Chances are that Rowland felt he was in the right place at this time. That seemed to suit Rowland and his supportive fans just fine.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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