- Dave LePori
Points North hail from the Bay Area and Sonoma County, but point of origin shouldn't be an issue. Guitarist Eric Barnett, bassist Uriah Duffy (of re-formed Whitesnake fame) and drummer Kevin Aiello sound as big as another immensely popular Canadian trio who just played their 40th anniversary tour.
Besides opening for guitar heros such as Michael Schenker, Eric Johnson, Al Di Meola and Pat Travers, Points North have become a headliner in these parts. They released their second, self-titled album earlier this year on Magna Carta Records, which, aside from the awesome rocker "Colorblind," is totally instrumental.
If guitar and bass calisthenics are your thing, melodic ditties like "Child's Play" and an intricate barnburner like "Ignition" will get you jumping. Like many of their Magna Carta labelmates, the band caters to those who like melodies delivered with technical prowess and just the right amount of power.
Barnett holds his own against any of the aforementioned guitarists he's opened for, and the rhythm section of Duffy and Aiello decimate the groove. Prepare to lay it down when Points North come to HopMonk Novato on Aug. 1, with openers the Devil in California and Flanelhed. 224 Vintage Way, Novato. 9pm. $10. 415.892.6200.