When I see a band I’ve never heard of and they turn out to be really good, I immediately begin to seek opportunities to see them again. I’ll go to great lengths to track down all the details. I was fortunate to have seen The Tip in their natural habitat, Nashville, Tennessee, this past April. After the last note of their set, I was shaking my head and making mental notes to learn more. Learn more I did because The Tip just concluded their East Coast tour and I was fortunate to see them in Vienna, West Virginia, at the RadioActive Bar and Concert Venue on June 17.
You know those signs? Caution? Warning? The Tip needs one of those signs permanently smacked onto drummer Dixie Carl’s bass drum. Fronted by Benny Carl, Rickey Dover Jr. on guitar, Robby Bote on bass, and Dixie Carl on drums, these four have been soaked in raw, untamed, fervor. Benny Carl is the kind of front man that has the charisma of a wild animal that has just broken its leash. He makes the fret board his slave and has the vocal diversity to prove that he will not be defined by any one sound.
Smoldering? You bet. Passionate? Absolutely. Benny could sing the alphabet and you’d still have to wipe the sweat from the back of your neck. Fortunately, there is not a weak link to be found within The Tip. Ricky Dover Jr. is a stylistic guitar player whose technique puts me in mind of that of Joe Perry or Keith Richards combined with being a near reincarnation of Peter Frampton circa 1975.
He is smooth and well articulated on those six strings. As for bass players, they are often under-rated which is irritating to me. Don’t let the bass player slip through the cracks because you will miss the ones like Robby Bote who is on point and ever consistent. Robby isn’t the bottom notes of the chord; he’s the soul of the sound. He will subtly suck you in with heavy, heated rhythm that’s complimentary to the nitty-gritty and wonderfully filthy rock that The Tip delivers.
I’m a firm believer that the drummer is the heart of every band. Dixie Carl strikes the skins as if they’ve been nasty and they need to be punished. His use of cymbals is loud, rough around the edges, and reminiscent of that heavy, glam sound. He’s in the moment, alive and vicious. My only wish was for Dixie to have thrown in a drum solo so I could really see that power rage.
If you are in the Nashville area, you’re lucky because that’s your best chance to catch The Tip live. If presented with the opportunity to see them, go. Change your plans or cancel plans; just make plans to go. Tough, tempting, and talented are the words I’ll leave you with in which to describe The Tip. There are so many bands out there to see on any given night in most decent sized towns. I am not one of those fortunate people to live in a decent sized town to catch any of those great bands. One thing’s for sure. I’m awfully glad The Tip was in.
Writer: Amanda Knight