concert reviews

Bob Guiney And His Band of Gold
Bob Guiney at Iota, Arlington, VA, Sunday 29 January 2006

A music career launched from any reality show other than "American Idol" immediately sounds suspect. But Bob Guiney, a hopeful on "The Bachelorette" who later became "The Bachelor," was a musician long before his television stardom. He sang with the rock band Fat Amy in the mid-'90s and currently fronts the Bob Guiney Band.

Surprisingly, though, the television publicity didn't spur much attendance at Iota on Sunday night, when Guiney and his group performed to a nearly empty room. The group treated the poor turnout as a chance to experiment, playing such brand-new songs as the melancholy "Wasting Time" and the catchy "Running Away," written about Guiney's wife. In fact, love (both successful and failed) was a recurring theme, which fit well with Guiney's radio-friendly, pop-rock sound. He channeled Rob Thomas on an acoustic version of the bouncy "So Wrong" and captured the impassioned, throaty timbre of Creed's Scott Stapp on "Temporary Life."

While Guiney's lyrics did sometimes veer into romantic cliches ("All the world just fades away/the moment that you're close to me"), he and his band remained energetic throughout. The group closed its brief 50-minute set with the garage-rock "Craziest Girl I Know," whose raw, unpolished sound was a refreshing contrast to what one might expect from a former reality TV star.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 1 February 2006; Page C02
.: Selected discography: 3 Sides (Bob Guiney, 2003); What a Difference a Year Makes by Bob Guiney (2003).