Monday, August 2, 2010

Frazey Ford - Stripmall Ballads -- Iota - August 1 2010

Stripmall Ballads - I have not seen these guys in a while and I quickly realized that was a mistake. They have an immediacy to their brand of Americana folk-rock. That comes from the fine songs of Phillips Saylor, the singer-guitarist of the band. He also plays banjo and is assisted by bass and drums tonight. Although he plays acoustic instruments, he plays leads like he is holding a stratocaster and has just enough effects to vary the sound nicely. But it all comes back to the excellent songs. A very fine opening set tonight and I will not wait as long to see them again.

Frazey Ford - When I reviewed her CD for Folkworld, I was impressed and wanted to see how the material worked live. Obviously that chance came tonight when this Vancouver based singer and her backing band came to the Iota. Frazey Ford has a lovely voice, somewhat fragile, but with a rootsy feel in the blend. She is able to smoothly transition from other-worldly to grounded. She plays acoustic guitar often and has bass, drums and an electric guitarist who adds a bit of banjo and backing vocals. A few songs were a bit too much of the country twang for me, but that is a minor criticism. Mostly, the songs were easy to get involved with and had enough subtle variety to keep interest. The audience was fairly sizable and was into the set. It was nice to not hear much noise from the crowd, aside from the ridiculously loud ever-present printer at one of the bars. Nice set and a nice night out on a lovely Sunday evening.

Quote of the Night: From the opener... "Do you like the banjo? Well, I just got my Social Security Statement recently which tells me quite the contrary."


Stripmall Ballads said...

hey man - thanks for the kind words about Stripmall Ballads and my good friend, Frazey. Wish youda come up and introduced yerself. see ya round.
phillips saylor

David Hintz said...

Sure. You earned them. I will say hi at your next show or just look for the older guy carrying a book and scribbling down notes during the various sets.

Anonymous said...

Hope you can make it to the next major Stripmall show in the DC area. October 8th at the Strathmore Stripmall is rolling out The Perfect Pipe Bomb, a folk opera (with puppets.) It's going to be awesome. More details here