Category Archives: Video

Sherry Ryan / Darren “Boobie” Browne 5/25/18, Toronto

Dates: May 25, 2018

Location: The Burdock, Toronto ON

Live at The Burdock, and a night of Canadian musical community.

TEXT/PHOTOS BY ERIC THOM

I have family who hails from Halifax, so I know a thing or two about the close-knit sense of community inherent to those who live on our proud East Coast. However, there’s something even closer to be found amongst the people who call Newfoundland their home. It’s an intensified existence in which the land and the people are one, bound together in celebration of the sweet blend of harsh conditions and jaw-dropping beauty that is everyday life. Sherry Ryan hails from Middle Cove, just north of St. John’s – and it shows on so many levels in her art form.

Born of the traditional Céilidh (from the Scottish Gaelic for ‘kitchen party’) – a coming together of friends, family and often members of the immediate community – the Nerwfoundlanders’ world is grounded in music, good food and a coming together for a group hug. This was richly evident in this show – as Sherry’s sister, Jackie, commandeered a collection of cousins, friends and ex-pats to become a part of this special ‘homecoming’ show. The intimate setting of The Burdock’s music room was ideal for the emotion-fueled evening as Newfoundlanders and otherwise savored the work of this talented duo. Darren “Boobie” Browne, another noted Newfoundland export, provided drop-dead accompaniment on mandolin, supplying deft vocal harmonies to complement each of Sherry’s well-placed notes – creating a surprisingly full band sound in combination with Sherry’s acoustic guitar work, all the more impactful in the rec-room-cozy space. Never was an audience more captured than this.

 

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Touring to support her fourth release, Wreckhouse, Sherry has long been a special breed of singer-songwriter, effortlessly painting mood-drenched pictures with relatively straight-forward lyrics that benefit from equal parts country and that certain hint of forlorn sadness that comes with the territory. What’s most distinctive is her voice which, as it starts to sink its hooks, has an uncanny resemblance to Anne Murray’s in its clear, confident alto (with an implied debt to Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline). Yet, her material has nothing to do with the pop-country backdrop of “Snowbird” – offering, instead, strong local imagery, the heartache of torn relationships, folklore – real and imagined and the laments inherent in the passing of time. The album’s title– “Wreckhouse” – refers to a true tale of the ill-fated Newfoundland railway (1882-1997) – and is the name given to car-tipping wind conditions that relied on a local trapper’s weather call to “Stop The Trains” (one of the album’s crowning jewels and co-written with her late Dad), thereby protecting them from nature’s wrath. Having more in common with John Prine than Anne Murray, this homegrown masterpiece represents the essence of Ryan’s talents. Like Prine, she reels you in with her heartfelt stories, a hint of humour and the vocal power to command attention to her every word. The new album, however, is a strong release based on it being a potent ‘band’ record – each original composition basking in the added firepower of pedal steel, guitar, piano, swirls of B3 and background vocals. The acid test for any good song is, however, what was witnessed on this warm, sun-drenched evening – two people, two instruments, strong vocals embellished with remarkably high-register harmonies. The powerful opener (and single) “Natural Law” mined the same country edge of the recorded version, despite the lack of baritone guitar and pedal steel. Browne’s deft skills with electric mandolin created sounds the likes of which I’ve never thought the mandolin was capable of, his vocal harmony adding considerable depth and personality to Ryan’s already powerful lead vocal. The next song, “Ferry Won’t Wait” is an ode to a missed ferry, causing a cancelled concert on Fogo Island in the land that weather rules. The Prine-like “Long-Awaited Question” was born from a breakdown at the Dollar Store that ended with a Tarot Card reading and the end of a relationship. “Cool and Clear”, following the order of the release, relies on piano on the album as yet another breakup song (this time, a friend’s) benefits from its simple, delicate delivery onstage. Again, the heartfelt yet humorous real-life “Stop The Trains” is a loving celebration of the way things were, worsened by the intervention of ‘modern-day improvements’ – to its hilarious conclusion. Jumping ahead to “On Paper”, these two voices created an hypnotic effect of back-and-forth with precious little accompaniment required, yet both guitar and mandolin turning in incredible, colorful textures.

The comparably upbeat “Ain’t Gonna Worry” moved into blues territory, buoyed by quality finger-picking that erupted, with Sherry’s coaching, into a legitimate audience singalong. The following song, “10 Minutes”, documents the distance across town in St. John’s at a torqued-up speed. One of the night’s most stunning songs was the standout “After Whiskey Before Breakfast”, providing Ryan with her Emmylou moment. Slowed down for maximum effect and minus its full serving of recorded pedal steel, this was a downer for the ages (meant in a good way). Much as the full band treatment cues the instant party, it’s this two-player presentation that demonstrates Ryan’s vocal power in its strongest light. Calling up two relatives to join her in a rendition of ”Something Else” (from 2008’s Wonderful Cures), its powerful chorus lit up the room, Ryan’s vocal still able to cut through the full force gale of voices. The natural fit of Ryan’s vocals to Browne’s harmonies was realized in the Carter Family’s “Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow Tree”, underlining Ryan’s understated guitar strengths and Browne’s prowess on mandolin. A compulsory, near-deafening call for an encore yielded a P.E.I. song written by one Gene MacLellan, as she kicked into “Snowbird”, no less – sounding as pure and natural as the Maritimer who made the song so indelible.

These themes of home, hearth and heartbreak suggest a rich upbringing in the sounds of the Carter Family but the fact that she’s a loyal Newfoundlander goes a long way to defining who she really is. She may not be a household name but she’s certainly no diamond in the rough at this point. She’s got a firm grasp of where she wants to go and all the skills to get there.

As for Browne, an integral component of a number of Newfoundland bands (The Burning Hell, The Kubasonics) and a continual, in-demand sideman, his self-released Birth of the Chickenpick (Boobie Browne & The Onions] is well worth hunting down.

Website: http://sherryryan.com/

Videos:

Natural Law

I Made it On My Own

Long Awaited Question

 

 

 

Dadalon CD Release (w/video) 7/6/18, NYC

Dates: July 6, 2018

Location: Rockwood Music Hall, New York City

Live at the Rockwood Music Hall – view the video of the show, below.

Text & video by Jonathan Levitt

Jazz duo Dadalon took to the stage on July 6th to celebrate the release of their debut album, which is available now on iTunes and Spotify. The show was an emotionally charged Tour-de-Force. The band ended up playing the entire album for the near-capacity audience. As is always the case for me when I see Dadalon, I expect to be taken on an emotional journey and this time was no different. The audience was transfixed by every note and this even goes for the small assembly of frat-bro, baseball cap wearing dudes who put down their Rolling Rocks and stood there mesmerized by what they were hearing. Much of this has to do with the fact that these guys are best friends and the respect and comfort they have for one another translates really well musically.

If I could distill the essence of Dadalon’s music for someone who’s never heard it, I’d say it’s at times very heart on sleeve direct and the unimpeded emotional charge one gets from it is what will draw you in at first. If you spend more time listening to it though, you will realize, that under the hood, are swimming some very complex emotions. That’s one of the reasons I find listening to their music to be so rewarding. So check out their new album and have a look at the concert below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Eaux Claires Fest Prompts Unique Bon Iver/The National Collab

Indie rock clusterfuck dept.

By Blurt Staff

Just done: the  fourth annual Eaux Claires festival, the Wisconsin bash curated by Aaron Dessner  (the National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Over the weekend both Vernon and Dessner performed, including a collaboration that featured the National’s Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, , Bradley Cook, Julien  Baker, T Bates, Gordi, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick. Check it out, below.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on CBS This Morning

By Blurt Staff

With the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album Sparkle Hard album out now, CBS This Morning was the curious scene of a promotional stop from the erstwhile Pavement mainman. There was an interview with Anthony Mason followed by a performance of “Solid Silk,” below, for “Saturday Sessions.” Check it out:

Watch the Moody/Auto-Tuned New Swamp Dogg Video

By Blurt Staff

The above photo displays the handsome new Swamp Dogg album, Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune, which drops Sept. 7 via Joyful Noise. (The photo also shows the limited edition SD flexidisc that is offered to folks in the Joyful Noise VIP program. And yes, before you ask, it will also be available on CD and digital download.) The funk/soul/swamp-rockin’ legend clearly has no intentions of burning out or fading away, to paraphrase Neil Young. According to the label:

Nearly fifty years after his debut release, Swamp Dogg stands on the precipice of another radical reinvention. His latest creation is titled Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune a nine song collection featuring production by Poliça’s Ryan Olson. Love, Loss, and AutoTune finds Swamp Dogg’s bluesy southern soul colliding head-on with 21st Century electronic music production techniques.

You can get more details at the above link. Meanwhile, check out the new video for album track “I’ll Pretend”:

Video Premiere: mmhmm “Aw Hell”

Track taken from Willie’s granddaughter’s combo’s new album, out in June.

By John B. Moore

I’m not sure why we’re getting all worked up about Prince Harry’s wedding, when we’ve got out own Royal Family here in the U.S. to pay attention to. Willie Nelson’s granddaughter Raelyn Nelson (just the latest in a growing line of talented Nelson’s) and Hannah Fairlight have partnered for a new project, mmhmm. The two are pioneers in the Americana Pop genre.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Fairlight landed a leading role on A&E’s Crazy Hearts: Nashville, released a self-produced EP, and landed the role of Veracity in Pitch Perfect 3. Before co-founding mmhmm, Nelson fronted the appropriately named, The Raelyn Nelson Band.
Their debut album is out on June 8, the first single from it is “Aw Hell” and they were kind enough to let Blurt be the first to share it with the world.

See the video:

“Aw Hell” is the first song Raelyn and I wrote together, sitting on my back porch in Inglewood, East Nashville,” said Fairlight. “I guess we were just reflecting on real life circumstances and our coming to terms with them. Raelyn’s house burned down, which was INSANE.,. And it gave me and definitely Raelyn new perspective on everything.”

The duo have a handful of dates set up for June:

June 1st at Puckett’s in Lieper’s Fork, TN
June 15th at Lipstick Lounge – Album release show and party in Nashville, TN
Supporting Todd Snider:
June 16th at Paramount Center of the Arts in Bristol TN
June 17th at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH
June 28 Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TN

 

Watch New Video From NYC Jazz Outfit Dadalon

By Fred Mills

Not long ago we published an interview with the adventurous jazz duo Dadalon, our contributor Jonathan Levitt commenting on the NYC combo thusly: “Alon Albagli, guitarist for the group, sounds like a young Bill Frisell, creating heightened states of awareness with his cyclical looped guitar work that builds and builds until there’s an intense emotional payoff for the listener. Daniel Dor, drummer and keyboardist for the group, is able to infuse a rhythmic playfulness into each song that is both supportive of Alon’s guitar playing and propulsive at the same time. The music is an intimate conversation between two friends that is beckoning for you to join in.”

Indeed. The feature included some exclusive video footage Levitt shot, and now Dadalon has posted a new performance video at their Facebook page. Check out “In Yellow Green” at that link.

 

 

Exclusive: Watch Blurt’s SXSW 2018 Fragile Rock Video Interview

Guarantee: no Muppets were harmed during the filming of this interview.

By Robin E. Cook

Jim Henson, in his wildest fever dreams, could never have imagined the intra-band dramas of Austin’s Fragile Rock Band. Then again, he wasn’t around to witness the rise of emo. For their SXSW show, the band wore their hearts on their felt sleeves while singing songs about Ms. Pac-Man and frontman Milo S.’s new crush, the actress Fairuza Balk. Milo was conspicuously absent for the interview the afternoon before the show, but the rest of the band proved quite lively.

Watch New ‘60s-drenched/homage Video by Prefab Messiahs

“Having a Rave Up” key track from lysergic new platter…

By Blurt Staff

No, it’s not a Yardbirds (look up that ref…) tribute, but it IS a tribute to ‘60s psych/garage/pop gems of yore: “Having a Rave Up,” from the Boston band’s recently released studio album, Psychsploitation Today (Lolipop and Burger Records). Blurt reviewed their 2015 album Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive and this new one’s even more cranium-crunching. We are advised thusly, of the evolutionary genre grinders (yeah, we stole that description): “While the Prefab Messiahs originally started performing their own lo-fi brand of post-punk, psych, garage-pop in the early ‘80s, along with working with ‘outsider psych legend’ Bobb Trimble at the time, it wasn’t until their early music was re-released a few years ago on Burger Records that media and fans alike started to connect the dots from The Prefabs to today’s garage-psych artists such as Ty Segall, Oh Sees, White Fence, King Tuff and others.”

Here’s that rave up song:

Check out an equally trippy clip from late last year, “Everything U No.” Then the group’s Trump-centric vid for “The Man Who Killed Reality.” Convinced yet? Raise your hands, all fellow Abunai! and Bobb Trimble fans… then surf over to the Messiahs’ Facebook page for more details, tour dates, and cool stuff.

 

 

Exclusive Video: New Chris Smither (acoustic): Down to the Sound

O, what a lucky man: Key track from new album currently out (and being toured as well).

By Fred Mills

This clip is a personal fave: Having followed Chris Smither avidly ever since seeing him in a small blues club in Charlotte, NC (and later having the privilege of hanging with him and sundry other fans and media types during a memorable night of, ahem, music and fun in Tucson, AZ), I can state personally that the cat is the real freakin’ deal —and you, gentle readers, will bear witness with me when you view the following video for “Down to the Sound,” a special solo acoustic performance, filmed in Leverett, MA, of a key track from his superb new album, Call Me Lucky (Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert), which dropped a few days ago, on March 2:

With video production via J. Elon Goodman / www.saltstage.com, this simple-yet-piercing track comes alive, not unlike having the blues/Americana virtuoso sitting across you in your own house.

Smither, on the track: “This song came about from some press interview awhile back when I was in the middle of writing songs for this record. He asked me the question I’ve been asked more times than I care to remember, ‘How do you write songs?’  I think ‘Down To The Sound’ ended up being a suitable answer.”

Amen, sir.

It’s the Boston virtuoso’s 18th—yes, that makes EIGHTEEN—album to date, and a 2CD set to boot, one which took him to Austin with producer David Goodrich along with players Billy Conway (Morphine) and Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase junket). If you need more convincing, HERE is a video you can also view over at NPR’s World Café.

Or you could just check out the man in concert, because he’s on the road just about constantly for the next couple of months…

Wed., March 7  PORTLAND, OR Alberta Rose Theatre*

Thurs., March 8  EUGENE, OR Shedd Institute*

Fri., March 9  BAINBRIDGE WA The Treehouse Café*

Sat., March 10  VANCOUVER, BC St. James Hall*

Sun., March 11  SEATTLE, WA  Tractor Tavern*

Wed., March 14  SANTA CRUZ, CA  Kuumbwa Jazz Center*

Thurs., March 15  AUBURN, CA  Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center*

Fri., March 16  BERKELEY, CA  Freight & Salvage*

Sat., March 17  SEBASTOPOL, CA  Sebastopol Community Center*

Fri., March 30  HOUSTON, TX  The Mucky Duck

Sat., March 31  AUSTIN, TX  Cactus Cafe

Wed., April 4  NEW YORK, NY  City Winery NYC*

Fri., April 6  FALL RIVER, MA Narrows Center for Arts*

Sat., April 7  TURNERS FALLS, MA Shea Theater*

Sun., April 8  CAMBRIDGE, MA  The Sinclair*

Fri., April 13  AUBURN, NY  Auburn Public Theater

Sat., April 14  PHILADELPHIA, PA  World Cafe Live

Sun., April 15  BALTIMORE, MD  Creative Alliance at Patterson

Fri., April 27  NASHVILLE, TN  Bluebird Cafe

Sat., April 28  BATON ROUGE, LA Red Dragon Listening Room

Sun., April 29  NEW ORLEANS, LA Chickie Wah Wah

Thurs., May 10  EVANSTON, IL  Evanston SPACE

Fri., May 11  MINNEAPOLIS, MN Cedar Cultural Center

Sat., May 12  ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark

Sun., May 13  CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom

Tues., May 15  PITTSBURGH, PA  Club Cafe

Wed., May 16  BUFFALO, NY  9th Ward @ Babeville

Thurs., May 17  ROCHESTER, NY Penthouse at One East Ave

Fri., July 20  TELLURIDE, CO  Telluride Americana Music Festival

 

*Band dates