Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Northern Howl - John Bustine -- DC9 - July 12 2010

John Bustine - Perhaps the busiest folk artist working around town? Or just maybe a guy who is a part of very nice shows that I want to see as this is the third time I have caught him in the last two months. And I will happily see him again as I always enjoy the set and hear some new things every night. I thought he had strong dynamics tonight between loud and quiet, although he generally is on the subdued side of that graph. And a Peter Laughner cover? Just more icing on this tasty cake. As usual, he was well received by a smallish crowd (it's Monday).
My Photos | The Valley Session | Northern Howl
Northern Howl - From Minneapolis comes this quirky folk-esque outfit. They begin with a couple of guitars, banjo, piano and trumpet with glockenspiel, drum, accordion and violin joining in soon as there is the usual bit of instrument switching. Plenty of male and female voices make for a rich sound. In fact, they sounded diverse, but not big if that makes any sense. Basically there was plenty going on and the style shifted around a bit from folk to jazz to contemplative neo-classical (made that one up). I liked the trumpet's low volume which added a nice edge to the mix. They seemed more thoughtful and subtle than most bands and probably will get better with future listening. But I enjoyed it the first time around as well. A few of the songs did not grab me, but they quickly bounced back with either a good song or an interesting arrangement. A good start to life on the road and we will say where they go from here.

Quote of the Night: "Whoooo...Yeah..." and applause. That was from the crowd and hardly much of a quote, but it was just so funny when during one of his slightly rock-like moments, John Bustine put his acoustic guitar behind his head while playing. His Hendrix move brought a great reaction and had me grinning ear to ear.

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