Stone Jack Jones - He was a Coal Miner's son... and grandson, and great grandson and... well, he is a musician now and a very fine one at that. From West Virginia via Nashville comes Mr. Jones and his two extremely capable sidemen who gave me a great dose of my favorite sort of mystical folk. One sidemen used a keyboard mostly as a drone accompaniment while he played electric guitar. The other sideman had some mysterious banjo and guitar runs. That left Jones to handle the deeply contemplative vocals and add some guitar and harmonica. This is dark, deep woodsy folk music that reminds me of Woven Hand or Bill Callahan with vocals that range from a classic style of Derroll Adams, yet with a hint of Lou Reed now and then. This is exactly how you transcend traditional folk into a modern form and still take the listeners on a journey where time becomes a blur while the magic of the song wraps around you. Great music, great set, I hope people take time from their busy lives and spend some time in this world. It will do you good.
Joe Fletcher - Also from Nashville comes a more classic style blues and country folker. It is just Fletcher with voice and guitars, acoustic or electric. He shows some fine touch and guitar and pounds out the riffs as well as he brings some old time rural rock'n'roll into his songs. He did manage to get some of the sizable crowd to sing along to a fairly complex bit, so he connected well tonight. This will take you back and is always a good fit on a bill like this.
O'Death - I have not seen this band in ages and it was high time I caught up with them. They take a singer songwriter on acoustic guitar and surround him with high quality musicians that could raise the dead with their playing and brand of music. This is rootsy material but it is frenetic or mannered and always has a lot going on. The rhythm section is excellent and powerful, while the guitar is flanked with violin and banjo/ukulele. The violin work is great and absolutely frenetic at times in the manner of Boiled in Lead. Yet the vocals are warm and the one harmony voice lifts them even higher, atop this great music. I hope I don't wait another five years before I see these guys again. They do the body good.
Quote of the Night: From Stone Jack Jones after two mesmerizing songs... "We're going to play a song that has more than one chord in it now."