Happy Friday Portland. Tonight at the LaurelThirst Public House there will be some excellent live music happening which I would like to recommend so we can all meet up, dig the tunes, and enjoy a cold one together. If you are unfamiliar with this venue Ben Waterhouse from the WWeek bar guide has called them, "The leaders of the city's bluegrass, folk, old-time, gypsy jazz and Americana scenes, plus various combinations thereof..."
The show begins at 9:00 and features the understated alt-country expertise of Zeb Dewar and TWD's favorite old time revival bandJacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners. So shine your shoes, grab your best gal, and let's get down. Additionally, there is a Facebook invite for tonight's performance so don't hesitate to RSVP and spread the love.
Don't forget to read on to hear music from our two artists as well as read my complete thoughts.
The Melodicis a new four piece band out of the UK that will release their debut EP On My Way on June 25th. They are signed to Anti Records and the members are: Huw Williams, Rudi Schmidt, John Naldrett, and Lydia Samuels. On My Way is ripe with warm harmonies, infectious melodies, and tasty instrumentation that does not shy away from lesser used instruments such as the charango, the melodica and the kora. As a side note, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the melodica, the timbre of that instrument is always and will always be associated with good times. In fact, I dare you to compose a funeral dirge for melodica, it won't work, everyone will just end up smiling.
Regardless, On My Way from The Melodic is set to work its way into both your regular rotation and your summer mix tapes. This is a do not miss EP for the summer of 2013. Give the title track a listen below and then get the full release on June 25th to enjoy the remaining songs. You can also stay in touch with the band via their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You dig?
The Heart's Swift Foot is the newest release from Kalamazoo based folk duo RedTailRing. The responsible parties are MichaelBeauchamp and LaurelPremo and their twelve track opus is as ripe with instrumental technique and musicianship as it is with folk authenticity and engaging story telling. You might ask, "How does one get all steeped folk authenticity?" Well, degrees in Ethnomusicology, English Literature, and time abroad studying Finnish traditional music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki would be a pretty good start.
Regardless, the only thing about this record that sounds academic is the duo's attention to instrumental and vocal intonation. The rest just sounds like satisfying Americana through the lens of a contemporary mid-western duo. Enjoy the bookend tracks from this album below and then make friends with the duo via their Facebook page, Official Web Page, and find all of their music on Itunes.
Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners is a five piece band that is as steeped in whiskey as they are old-timey Americana. They are: JacobMiller on guitar,vocals, and kazoo. BenBailey on washboard, snare, and vocals KyleNeumann on harmonica, tenor banjo, and dobro. JoyPearson on vocals, tenor banjo and kazoo, and finally, MikeTeam on the upright bass.
Their album, East Side Drag, was released in June of 2012 and boasts eight tracks of the finest pickin' and singin' that Portland Oregon has to offer. However, beyond a slick brand and a niche market, Jocob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners are bringing real musical talent and authenticity to bear. For my taste, HesitationBlues and the BelmontStrut are the high points of the album. I love the combination of Jacob Miller's tenor warble alongside his enviable guitar impersonation of Mississippi John Hurt. Furthermore, the subtly Ben Bailey's washboard percussion amplifies the song's interesting texture.