Ultimately, the singer/songwriter game is
about life experience and incorporating that into one’s art. Eilen Jewell has
life experience to spare; a rural Idaho childhood where she learned to
play piano, college in Santa Fe, N.M., where she busked and learned to
perform, and then to Boston where she prospered in one of the country’s
most competitive Folk scenes.
If Phish had been wordlessly inspired by
Mama Africa, rural Mississippi, Haight Ashbury and Malibu pier parties
and jammed with passion, precision, wild abandon and a sense of the
music’s heritage, they might have come close to the ethereal delight of
A sense of Yin/Yang between the two is what makes Shiny and the Spoon’s music so clever. Like Johnny and June Carter Cash, they have a natural chemistry that makes their Folk/Pop sound an easily blended creation, with smooth harmonies, catchy melodies and a subtle style that’s their own unique merry-go-round.
Heavy, progressive Hard Rock trio Valley of the Sun celebrates the birth of its new EP, The Sayings of the Seers, at the Southgate House’s Parlour room this Thursday. Cincy Art/Prog/Metal ensemble Atlantic Becoming and Columbus’ heavies Lo-Pan open the 9 p.m. show.
Veteran local musician David Rhodes Brown presents the second annual Browngrass Festival this Saturday in Rabbit Hash, Ky., starting at noon. Brown — a lap-steel specialist (and multi-instrumentalist) known for his work with Warsaw Falcons, 500 Miles to Memphis, Magnolia Mountain and many others — launched the fest last year at the Southgate House.
Now a band some 20 years old (if not counting the long hiatus between the late '90s and early '00s), Earth creates Folk-ish Metal that sounds timeless in its sparseness, as exhibited on the recent album, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I.
The annual exhibition of Greater Cincinnati’s fantastic American Roots music scene, Rivertown Breakdown, presents its 10th anniversary event this Saturday at Newport’s Southgate House. Besides showcasing local music, the event — the brainchild of local Folk music hero Jake Speed — has raised money each year for “river-related” causes.
Nightlands’ debut from last November, Forget the Mantra, arrived caked in a fanciful, transcendental dust. In “God What Have I Done,” the titular phrase repeats as a meditative mantra instead of a painful plea, filled with divinity and a kind of sweetness that’s tough to pin down. This fantastic chill-out music resembles how Animal Collective would approach covering Elton John’s contributions to The Lion King soundtrack. Nightlands’ future is real promising.
Oh, the trouble Justin Townes Earle has seen. The 29-year-old singer/songwriter’s well-publicized drug and alcohol problems over the years have resulted in several rehab stints, the most recent coming last fall after an altercation at an Indianapolis venue which necessitated Earle’s return to treatment and the cancellation of his tour, including his scheduled appearance at Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival. Thankfully, Earle is doing better these days.
The Savannah, Ga., quintet rose from the ashes of southern Sludge Metal outfit Damad, utilizing the band’s original members (including guitarist/vocalist Phillip Cope, widely recognized as the prime mover within the Savannah Metal scene), adding guitarist Laura Pleasants and shifting to a sound that incorporated Doom Metal riffage, psychedelic frippery and Jazz syncopation.