The Whiskey Thieves: Stealing Hearts in San Francisco

Local favorites, The Whiskey Thieves, played a show at Pier 23 last night and completely rocked it. The Sonoma-born band is comprised of singer Codi Binkley, guitarist Gabe Brueske, bassist Zakk Murphy and drummer Thomas Bottar. For four such musically different dudes (each brings a totally different style and background to the table, according to Zakk), their collective sound is pretty damn hot. Listen here.

Hearing them live for the first time I see what he means. Trying to classify their sound is hard. I heard everything from hard rock and heavy smoky blues to funky, reggae-infused jams. Each member of the band has a maestro-like command of his instrument and the singer’s voice is mesmerizing. Codi’s vocals are, depending on the song and genre, reminiscent of many other greats. At our table we decided he was channeling each of the following at some point: Anthony Kiedis, Eddie Vedder, Jack Johnson, Jimi Hendrix (listen to #5 and you’ll see what I mean), and Brad Nowell. Oh, and even Matisyahu (check out #9, my favorite)!

The show consisted of both songs off their new album, Almost Time, and covers from the likes of Johnny Cash and Joe Cocker among others. A consistently high energy show kept the audience dancing and drinking. Their great stage presence plus their charming and self-deprecating vibe make The Whiskey Thieves both entertaining and approachable. Not surprisingly, the tagline on their MySpace page is “We’re like an alcoholic boy band that doesn’t suck”.


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