Live Review: Dead Professional @ DC9, 8/7/13

Having seen John Harouff do his thing a time or two as part of the excellent Cinnamon Band, my expectations for his solo set as Dead Professional at DC9 were definitely a wee bit high. Naturally, Harouff's one man band did everything but disappoint.

Unassuming and instantly affable, Harouff began, a slight hum of feedback providing a hint of growing pains throughout the set. One song in I was charmed. Harouff possesses one of those voices that can really draw you in with honeyed ease, with just a hint of a knowing wink behind the warmth.

Dead Professional's sounds could be considered some sort of new Americana, modern but with a nod to history, speaking to rushes of fresh air and moments of excitement that have yet to happen. In the name of homage, Harouff threw a dandy of a curveball by including a T. Rex cover in the set ("Main Man"). Turns out Harouff's voice is rather well-suited to take on Marc Bolan, and he gave the glam rock tune a very likable backroads treatment. "Don't Be Cruel" was a highlight for me, a testament to Dead Professional's potential appeal and full of shimmy. Just dandy.

The set, while too short for my liking, was definitely a success. With Dead Professional, Harouff proves he can stand on his own, and not just in the studio. Don't dare miss him when he comes to town. 


[photo by Megan Petty]


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