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Jeremiah and the Red Eyes

March 21 • Southgate House Revival (Lounge)

By Reyan Ali · March 19th, 2013 · Sound Advice
soundadvice_jeremiah sammartano_photo_jeremiahandtheredeyes.comPhoto: jeremiahandtheredeyes.com
Need some Christmas woe in your springtime? If so, catch up with Home, the third (as far as we can tell) record by the Los Angeles-based Jeremiah Sammartano and his Delta Blues/Folk/Alt-Country outfit The Red Eyes. On that 2012 full-length, you can experience not one but two odes to winter misery with “Xmas Morn” and “Townes, Jesus and Me.”

The latter is of special relevance since it affirms Sammartano's stylistic allegiances with crystal clarity. In the especially disillusioned number, the frontman speaks of dreams (presumably romantic) shattered right around Dec. 25. As a balm, he devotes time to staring into the eyes of late folkie Townes Van Zandt (probably on a record cover) and begging Christ himself to share a drink with him. “Beneath the bar lights this Christmas Eve/Townes Van Zandt, Jesus and me,” he recites, as a soothing melody follows him.

Sammartano delivers that line with remarkable frailty, dipping his voice so low on that last word that he could realistically be referencing “Christmas Eve” or “Christmas Day.” Barring a lyric sheet, it's the kind of thing that needs multiple close listens to determine which is correct. It's a beautiful touch, really, since it encourages you to become even more intimate with this music. 

Jeremiah and the Red Eyes do implement lots of wounded-soul Folk clichés into their work, but the seven-piece is usually so sincere about and deft with the execution that it feels OK to grant them leeway.

JEREMIAH AND THE RED EYES perform Thursday, March 21 at the Southgate House Revival in Newport. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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