Jocelyn & Chris Arndt bring their soulful blues rock to the heart of Hollywood
August 18, 2017 - Hotel Cafe, Hollywood, CA
Review by Fabian Rodriguez
This family band does not waste any time as vocalist Jocelyn Arndt joins her brother, guitarist Chris Arndt, on stage and after a quick introduction the show begins. Immediately the ambiance shifts with sultry chords playing in the background, courtesy of Tyrone Hartzog, with various percussive elements. Jocelyn’s delicate voice begins with the opening line and, seemingly out of nowhere, releases a powerhouse vocal jilting the audience to a funky groove.
Throughout their opener, “Footprints On The Moon,” the band is immediately in sync with each other allowing the audience on for a ride. Jocelyn toys with grasping the attention of the audience in the soft points and blowing them away with great force. As the song seems to end, the band continues into one of the seamless transitions we will be hearing throughout the remainder of the set.
Each individual is in a trance with the only connecting element being Jocelyn, creating this cohesiveness from multiple individualities. Chris Arndt plays the necessary guitar licks just at the right time and interplays along with her sister's vocals to attain great moments. The band shows its mature accompaniment with each musician given time to shine. Chris brings us into “Jagged" with an intro reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and Jocelyn continuing to surprise with her mastery of voice.
We continue on to “Home" in which the shift feels as a fade between emotions, rather than a sharp turn. Kate Sgroi keeps a steady foundation on bass with such tenacity that marks her place in this band. Jocelyn is well aware of her money notes without taking away from Chris’s playful yet artistic licks. As the band enters “Red Stops Traffic” one cannot help but reminisce of Janis Joplin and Florence Welch vocals coming form Jocelyn. Percussionist David Bourgeois keeps an intense mood without a wavering beat throughout the various grooves of each song.
Once we reach “I’m Fine,” the main thought on everyone’s mind is how well beyond their years this band seems to be, as though they have lived long arduous lives and are bursting at the seams wanting to tell their store. Jocelyn commands the stage as Grace Potter would, that one would not expect such a bubbly personality to come from her while providing short but sweet commentary between songs. For the first time in the entire set we briefly get a glimpse at the youth of Jocelyn and Chris in “Ready Steady Go,” but make no doubt that they still play like professionals.
Such precision and clarity in the band’s set is only pronounced with their own version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” making this classic their very own. From Tyron’s organ melodies and Chris’s bluesy guitar taking us to church, Kate & David’s groovy foundation, Jocelyn’s voice is the cherry on top of this young but hardy group. It would not be surprising in the slightest if you hear the name Jocelyn & Chris Arndt coming to ears in the near future.