Friday 14 September 2012 at 7:30pm
227 Maple Ave E, Vienna, 22180, United States
Tel: (703) 255-1566
BUY TICKETS - $15 advance/ $18 day of
Tickets are also available via phone at 703.255.1566
Kris Delmhorst's arresting album Shotgun Singer began as an act of solitary creation. Holed up in a rural cabin with minimal recording gear and a houseful of instruments, Delmhorst recorded her new songs alone and off the clock, in late night sessions that yielded layers of intimate vocals combined with nylon string and electric guitars, cellos, keyboards, and percussion. She treated the work like oil painting, allowing the canvas to breathe and change over the course of many months until the picture emerged. With the core of each song patiently assembled, she brought in a diverse cast of players to add sparse backing lines of drums, keys, guitar, and vinyl-based samples, and then signed on co-producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter) in arrangement and mixing, enlisting him meanwhile to play keyboards and percussion on several songs. The result is collection of songs fully realized and even lush at times, but retaining a hushed intensity, a spirit of lo-fi intimacy and unhurried exploration.
Kris Delmhorst has built a thriving career and a devoted following from the ground up, and without major label hype. With Shotgun Singer, Delmhorst has trained that voice on a series of gracefully open lyrics and figures that transcend genre, ranging into the borderlands between indie-rock and folk, that nameless territory inhabited by such hard-to-classify artists as Juana Molina, Feist, Iron & Wine, and Laura Veirs. Adventurous, elegant, lucid, and haunting, the record is the work of a musician at full stride who has found a musical language equal to her vision.
Rowe's honest and haunting songwriting have already earned comparisons to Van Morrison's Astral Weeks phase, for his abstract lyric phrasing, and the way he crafts an experience of emotion, rather than telling a linear tale. Most powerfully he brings to mind Leonard Cohen, with songwriting which tends to build into powerful, yet vulnerable, cathedral-like monuments of sound. The song "American," with its yearning strings and earnest piano bring chills and a catch in your throat. Magic is Sean Rowe's homage to what he believes in, to what he finds magical in the world. The themes of love, innocence, sex and nature prevail in its heartfelt, crafted songs. On the ambient, deeply resonant closer "The Long Haul," Rowe's voice crackles with life. "And I never hit the spring so hard/ a newborn song on an old guitar/ and I know what it means to be alive," he sings. And like the most evocative, important works of art, Magic begs the question of its listener: What makes you feel alive?