The Black Cadillacs tune up and cruise along

The Black Cadillacs hang out on only the cushiest of sofas with only the classiest of ladies. The band is, seated from left, Matthew Hyrka and John Phillips on guitars, Philip Anderson on bass, Will Horton on vocals and Adam Bonomo on drums.

Photo by Brian Wagner

The Black Cadillacs hang out on only the cushiest of sofas with only the classiest of ladies. The band is, seated from left, Matthew Hyrka and John Phillips on guitars, Philip Anderson on bass, Will Horton on vocals and Adam Bonomo on drums.

Related Event

The Black Cadillacs

  • With: Davin McCoy
  • When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16
  • Where: Preservation Pub, 28 Market Square

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— Those doubting the potential of Knoxville's once overwhelming teen-aged music scene can look to The Black Cadillacs for an example of the promise of such early bloomers.

Now all of legal drinking age, the band's founding members began writing tracks - that are still in use - at the age of 16 in Memphis before assembling in a fuller capacity in Knoxville a few years ago.

While The Cadillacs are admittedly still maturing to meet the high expectations created by their ambitious debut "All Them Witches," the group has a firm grasp on what it takes to achieve greatness. The band has developed managerial support and a feel for professional recordings and the modern avenues to widespread recognition.

The Black Cadillacs revive unapologetic, heyday rock 'n' roll while bringing to the table influences beyond the classic greats. With an appreciation for blues, funk and indie-rock, the group looks to incorporate new inspirations to its next recorded outing while maintaining its focus on aggressive guitar riffs and intense, structured vocal melodies.

While satisfied with the debut, The Cadillacs have had time to extensively scrutinize "All Them Witches" and have a more defined vision for their next studio experience.

"We've pretty much stuck to our guns since we started writing," says vocalist Will Horton. "The sound we want to achieve and our approach to music is not how it's approached much these days, and we stick to that. Not learning from mistakes - that's the theme that will last as long as the five of us are writing songs together.

"What's going to be different is we're going to be much more together as a band, more cohesive. We live together now; we practice together almost every day. I think that will be the big difference. I think it will have more of a soulful rock sound in the classic sense."

"I'm extremely proud of the record," adds guitarist John Phillips. "You just want to go back and make it the best product possible. We know at every single beat what was supposed to happen, whether it did happen or if it should have been different if anyone else notices it or not."

While the band's studio experience has matured its clarity of vision musically, the group has also consolidated its professional strategy. The Cadillacs wisely are not opposed to exposure from commercial and film placement.

Before "All Them Witches" had even been mixed the group availed one of its tracks for use in a documentary and hopes its material will continue to present such opportunities.

"The nature of the business right now is placement," Horton acknowledges. "I think it's more exciting to be a musician now than maybe ever been for accessibility purposes."

Says bass player Philip Anderson, "I think finding the right deal will come along with our touring and developing a loyal fan base and, honestly, hype, but it's a consistent level of hype that we have in Knoxville and everywhere we go."

As with the other aspects of the Cadillacs' work, the live show has mutually come of age. What was once an improvised "drunken party" of a show is now focused, and delivers the same intensity with an eye on the jugular.

"We raised our expectations," admits Horton. "People have invested a lot in us now, so there's more pressure on us. I hate to refer back to the classics, but Rolling Stones are a big influence and I take a lot from The Who as far as how I like shows to go. It's all about feeling the sound and getting the crowd into it. They're showy, but they're not excessive. They play what they think rock 'n' roll is, and the crowd's going to like it because that's what rock 'n' roll is."

n They march at 9: Fat Penguin marches into Oskie's Sports Bar and Grill tonight at 9 p.m. to perform a free show.

n They are all made of stars: Star Mountain aligns with Fine Peduncle and Teams for a gig at The Pilot Light tonight at 10 p.m. Admission is $5

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