Youthful band displays their developed talent

The McLovins may not be a renowned musical powerhouse yet, but if their reception at Nectar’s on Feb. 19 is any indication, they are on their way. And with the oldest member ringing in at 17, time is on their side. Though none of the members are legally allowed in Nectar’s when they’re not playing — even were it an increasingly rare 18+ night — these guys are already playing sold-out shows all over the Northeast. The McLovins seamlessly blend technical rock with jam and funky jazz through the tight instrumentation of drummer and vocalist Jake Huffman, bassist John Ott and the relentless guitar of Jeff Howard. They began their set casually jamming to an already excitable crowd but before long Howard burst into a wailing solo and, as if on cue, people burst into motion.  Burlington seemed to embrace the McLovins instantly, and, according to Ott, the feeling is mutual. “Burlington is a haven for good music, and we appreciate it for that,” he said. For a young band, their repertoire is extensive, boasting two full-length albums and two singles. However, it is their ability to improvise on all of their songs, as well as a number of covers, that really makes them shine. “Cohesive,” their newest single — a collaboration with Phish lyricist Tom Marshall and former Spin Doctors guitarist Anthony Krizan — was played flawlessly, with a true jam band flair impossible to recreate in the studio, despite the collaboration’s great production quality. Following their new single with barely a pause, they burst into an older song and live show staple, “Milktoast Man.” Along with these rousing originals, they lovingly infused such covers as Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and the Doors’ “Break on Through” with their own unique identity … and shredding solos of course.   They rounded off their covers for the night with The Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street,” which brought the crowd’s energy above and beyond what Nectar’s — at capacity — could comfortably handle. While these three musicians have already reached a position of renown in the music scene that most bands never reach at all, let alone at such a young age, they remain humble. “[We] can’t do anything without people coming to the show, so thank you all for coming out,” Huffman said. While not one can yet boast a high school diploma, these guys have the raw talent and support — their parents operate their merchandise table, selling CDs and band memorabilia — to actually make a name for themselves. Not only that, but they bring a mature, developed and evolving sound to the table. What really matters, though, is that they sure as hell know how to please a crowd, and that skill will prove invaluable in their seemingly inevitable rise.