Clem Burke, best known for being the drummer for Blondie, along with The Cars guitarist Elliot Easton, lead singer/ guitarist/ harmonica player Wally Palmar from The Romantics and Chesterfield Kings bassist Andy Babiuk formed The Empty Hearts (FB, Twitter).
Burke is also happens to be a long time member of The Romantics and in his main role as Blondie’s drummer, he toured together with Elliot with The New Cars in 2006 on the fantastic “Road Rage Tour”.
The band is touring in support of their debut album “The Empty Hearts” on Savoy Label Group’s 429 Records.
The show started with the opening track of their debut CD. Right out of the gate, this was an incredible show. The crowd was hooked from the first note of 90 Miles An Hour Down a Dead End Street – a catchy, rocking tune which contains MANY familiar lyrics and references to other tunes – a “name that tune” of sorts, which is very cool. The set continued with quite a few instant classics.
Even at first listen, this song has that “familiar” quality to it that makes it an enjoyable live tune, as was the remainder of the set. In fact, the dozen new songs are instantly enjoyable and almost seem a lot like old friends, if that makes any sense at all. The music covers a wide range of styles and manages to work on every level.
They played the first half of the new album in order before launching into Let The Good Times Roll. One their new songs, Loud and Clear, is a total rocker. The Empty Hearts also did their share of expected tunes from the bands they are famous for, including some tunes from The Cars, Romantics and Blondie.
They continued on with two more new songs, including the country-esque tune I Found You before playing Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics.
After three more new tunes, including the hard rocking Just A Little Too Hard they played One Way Or Another by Blondie and finished their new album with the up-tempo Meet Me ‘Round The Corner.
Then they rocked a Beatles tune (which they pointed out was also done by the Rolling Stones- although Lennon/McCartney wrote it), I Wanna Be Your Man, with Just What I Needed and What I Like About You to close out their awesome set that left the crowd VERY happy.
This is clearly a group effort and the band really seems to have it together like most bands should. They all get to really play and stretch out as musicians. There was a “jam-like” quality to their set and everyone was “on” for the performance- even when the shows handed them a few slight problems, they managed to handle and work through them like champs, like when the harmonica microphone cut out at one point during the set. From beginning to end, it was a solid performance by real professionals and their new album is a keeper — they aren’t just a nostalgic act by any stretch of the imagination.
Definitely go see them in concert and buy their album to support wonderful new music from guys that have been making great music since the old days of vinyl.
The Empty Hearts On Tour
TOUR: 2014 AND BEYOND!
San Francisco, CA
The Addition (Yoshi’s)
Laguna Beach, CA
New Hope, PA
Falls Church, VA
The State Theater
Asbury Park, NJ
The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN)
New York, NY
B.B. King Blues Club and Grill