Derek Evry - Although he is playing bass with the headliners tonight, Evry is up for double duty with a solo acoustic guitar and vocal set. On more than one occasion, I have seen where these type sets feel tacked on. Not tonight. Derek Evry has plenty of style and fine songs presented with a strong voice and energetic guitar work. Although he flat picks, he has some intricate moves in between his energetic chords. He is as much rock as folk and the songs work well in this presentation. Not surprisingly, he has a solo album out and will be having a record release party with a full band at the Iota on Saturday, June 21st. Based on what I saw from this set, it's a lock to be a fun night.
Luray - It has been a while since I have seen Shannon Carey and her band which has steadily evolved into a strong working unit. The sound is still delicate with banjo and voice taking the lead, but the supporting band fleshes out the songs into fully complete works that retain the heart, while having the heft to work in a rock club. Although this crowd was very supportive and into the music tonight, so crowd noise was not a problem. Sarah Gilberg offers a lot to the sound with colorful keyboard work, a bit of guitar and excellent vocals. Then there is guitar, bass, and percussion with even a bit of thumb piano, always one of my favorite instruments. The band even nails down some mysterious droning moves that elevate the music even further into fascinating areas. Luray is definitely one of the finer bands in the area and proved it again tonight.
Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray - Tonight's show ends several months of touring and 'the Honeymoon is over'. That's a joke they are tired of by now as Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray were married back in March and have spent their extended honeymoon blazing a trail across the country playing their great brand of music every step of the way. It was nice to see they still had the energy to put on a great show. I knew the songs would be good, as I really enjoyed their recent album that I reviewed last month. This live set did not quite have the surprising dynamics, although that may be due to knowing a little more of what was coming. They still varied songs nicely from rootsy rockers to intense singer songwriter cuts with spacey western landscapes. They had that Denver sound murder ballad style working as well and all of it connected with the nice crowd assembled filling out the smaller room. They have lots of fans around here, deservedly so, and are hopefully spreading their base with their heavy touring. The music has that combination of originality with comfortable hooks that will connect with a large crowd if given a chance.
Quote of the Night: Derek Evry counting in a song... "One, Two, why am I counting."
But to continue the series of harsh musician on musician insults, here is one more for your list...
25. Mark E Smith on Mumford & Sons
“There was this other group warming up … and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them cunts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them … I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”