Just catching up on some shows I've seen this year. I used to do these things for every concert I went to, and it served as a nice list of shows/bands I saw, at the very least, in addition to a record of my thoughts about them. I'm gonna try to keep up with that this year without falling behind too much (and some better reviews appear on Draw Us Lines when I have more thoughts to share and care more about my writing style).
I try to catch Big Snow Big Thaw at every chance, not just because they're my friends, but because they're great. I remembering being initially surprised at how much I dug these kinds of folksy/bluegrassy sounds, but then I realized that's just me being picky and closed-minded about musical tastes. Call it what you want—newgrass, folk rock, midwest rock 'n roll, somethin' else made up—it doesn't matter. It rocks. And every time they play, they've got new songs to share. They've been hard at work at J Bird Studios and their first album should be out real soon. (In the meantime, do yourself a favor and check out their Winter/Spring EP combo on Bandcamp.) That very same J, he of J Bird, played bass on a bunch of their songs, too, since he has been adding some bass parts during the recording. It rounded out the sound a little bit, and was a nice addition. Here's hoping they explore that route in the future. I caught their set at the Carnegie Library's Sunday afternoon acoustic series (photo above) a few days before this show, too, and that was great to see lots of strangers walking through and sit down and enjoy their tunes.
Jeffrey Foucault was an oustanding performer! Jim and David kinda warned me and the rest of the audience, saying that his soundcheck performance was amazing (he just walked up, no prep, and that voice belted out like he was born singing) and he strikes quite a presence with that magnificently thick beard. He was swigging something from a steel cup, and had been on the road all day, this being the first stop on his tour a long way from his previous night's activity of watching The Muppets with his daughter (why I remember that anecdote, I couldn't tell ya). I hadn't heard any of his songs before and yet I found myself mesmerized. The crowd skewed a little older, I think, and there were some seriously chatty drunkies in the back by the bar, but other than that, everyone was pretty much rapt as JF strummed and sang in front of those Club Café starlights. He did a great Neil Young cover (forget which song) but this number really stood out and was stuck in my head:
Apparently, you can join this Facebook group if you think Jeffrey Foucault isn't famous enough.
Jeffrey Foucault on the web: Website
Big Snow Big Thaw on the web: Facebook /
Twitter / Bandcamp