As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been living in Crazy Town lately, and not going to a lot of shows. I have tickets to ten concerts in May so I’m hoping this will change soon! But in the meantime, I thought I’d give you a little update on a few artists I really like who are releasing new albums and going on tour. Consider them all on my “not to be missed” list.
Joe Henry is doing some rare solo dates in Europe and the U.S. to promote his album due in June: Invisible Hour. There are about a dozen European dates and just six U.S. dates (San Francisco, L.A., DC, NYC, Philadelphia and Boston). He’s one of my absolute favorite singer/songwriters (and an excellent producer as well) – if you haven’t heard him, I can’t recommend his recent output highly enough: Reverie, Blood from Stars, and Civilians are all favorite albums of mine. He works with top-notch musicians, writes extremely fine lyrics, and has a knack for writing that kind of classic melody that feels as though it must have always existed, just waiting to be captured in a song. Check out the single from his upcoming album below (and/or check out another one of my favorites on Youtube by clicking here).
The tour dates are all listed here: http://www.joehenrylovesyoumadly.com/live-shows/
The next underappreciated songwriter on the list: Jolie Holland. I like all of her albums, but the last two (The Living and the Dead & Pint of Blood) really showed off her songwriting talents. Her upcoming album, Wine Dark Sea, is coming out in a few weeks and has been getting rave reviews – I can’t wait to hear it. I love her unique vocals and the fact that every one of her albums is coherent and distinctive enough that you could probably hear any one of her songs and immediately know which album it came from, just from the overall sound and feel of it. I’ve been listening to her a lot lately – the first signs of spring weather always make me want to listen to her music. I have no idea why – just one of those little quirks of the human brain, I guess! Here’s one of my favorite songs from The Living and the Dead:
You can see her tour dates by clicking here – she’s mainly sticking to the U.S. coasts but there are also a couple of Canadian dates.
Up next, Wovenhand, led by David Eugene Edwards. His previous band, 16 Horsepower, remains better-known than his current project, but he has done some fantastic work with Wovenhand and I love the fact that I can see him performing in tiny venues now. (I realize he would probably like to go back to the bigger venues he used to play with 16HP, but… I can’t help loving intimate venues!) I have kind of a weird relationship with this band; I keep thinking I’m not really a fan anymore, but then I always go to their shows anyway (see: “concert manic”) and their shows are pretty much always awesome, so… I don’t really know what’s up with that. The track I heard from their new album, Refractory Obdurate, sounds very cool – it’s much heavier than their early albums, which makes sense to me since the last time I saw them live was incredibly heavy. It should be available to buy this week. Here’s a little comparison for you… early work:
You see what I mean about being heavier! They’ve got a European tour in the works, hitting ten or eleven countries – details are here.
Last but certainly not least, Concert Manic favorite Marc Ribot has a nice week of shows lined up in New York City to celebrate his 60th birthday. After the intimate week of music at the Stone in January, this week will be a bit more showy, with bigger, more well-known venues and a brand new album being released. The schedule is as follows:
May 11: Ceramic Dog at Rough Trade in Brooklyn (tickets)
May 12: Marc Ribot Trio at Le Poisson Rouge – CD release (tickets)
May 13: Live solo guitar score to Chaplin’s “The Kid” at Anthology Film Archives (tickets)
May 14: Improvised Round Robin Duets at Town Hall (tickets)
May 16: Los Cubanos Postizos at Le Poisson Rouge (tickets)
He’s also doing a little tour down the west coast at the end of May, including a four-night stop at SF Jazz. You can see those dates on his tour page (click here!).
I’m planning to hit four of the New York shows (everything but the round robin) and I’m pretty excited about all of them. I am also really excited for the new album, which is a live recording from the Village Vanguard. I’ve seen the trio many times and they’re really overdue for a record! You can pre-order it right here or be like me and pick up a copy at the CD release show on May 12.
In the meantime, wish me luck at regaining my concert mania in the face of many trials and tribulations. It’s around here somewhere, I’m pretty sure…