I had the pleasure of getting to see the band Ko-lija on September 9th, at the Government Street Grocery in Ocean Springs. I had never been to the Grocery before and was quite taken with the friendliness of the staff and shocked by how small the venue is. There was a benefit show going on that I never quite heard the reason for and several bands played before Ko-lija. When you first look at the guys in Ko-lija standing on the stage you can’t help but wonder what type of music they might play. These are guys that are more worried about comfort than impressing people with their fashion sense. As they kicked in to their first song you could hear the zeppelin-esque guitar lines and the southern influences pour from the music. The singer, Matt Hudnall, was quite entertaining to watch and listen to in between songs. His voice belied his age and size and his “dancing” during the songs was surprisingly rhythmic. The band itself ran the gamut of song variety from Clutch to The Charlie Daniels band and back again to their own original music. The song Big **** hat had a great feel and was indicative of the bands sense of humor and ability to enjoy their music without taking themselves too seriously. I enjoyed the dobro and harmonica and the guitar player had a decent grasp on the use of the wah pedal. While having a good time and enjoying themselves, Matt took a moment out to dedicate a song to a friend that was lost the day before. As he explained to the crowd what had happened with Stephanie Koll he was quite serious and obviously shaken. His choice of songs was quite appropriate; Live forever by Billy Joe Shively. Few people take the time out of their rock star lives to think of others and I was impressed with how open Matt was with his feelings. Ko-lija over all is not the band you want to go see if you want flash and the usual circus tricks you get from other bands. What you will get however, is a band that truly enjoys music, playing in front of people and has the ability to be themselves at all times. Be sure to request Long haired country boy and sing along…the song is a perfect example of how Ko-lija live and play.