Monday, February 18, 2013

Music Monday: Shovels & Rope, Luella & the Sun, Telegraph Canyon, The Great Book of John and Green Seed

It's no secret that I love music. I mean, I have a lyric from a Lumineers song tattooed on my wrist. And while I usually find time to get to live shows, that typically happens a couple times a month at best. But somehow in a span of 7 days, I managed to go to 4 shows and see 7 different bands at those shows. So I thought I'd share a bit about the bands that I've been privileged to see perform lately.

Love disguised as music. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope.

First up is a little band called Shovels and Rope. Yeah, you might have heard of them by now. They've been on David Letterman and will soon be lighting up a ton of music festivals this summer including Coachella, Hangout Fest, Wakarusa, Sasquatch and the Newport Folk Festival. I feel incredibly blessed to have been one of the lucky ones to catch their act from the floor at the Workplay theater to a sold out crowd on Saturday Feb. 9th. It's hard to really put into words what you experience at a Shovels and Rope show. You're basically witnessing the love and respect that two people have for each other on a stage, set to some pretty incredible music. It's just absolutely electric. Not to mention it's a ton of fun watching two people in love trade off back and forth from the guitar to the drum set and then never knowing what instrument Michael Trent is going to pull out and rock next. I'm telling you now, if Cary Ann and Michael come to a town or music fest near you: GO!

They also had an opener Andrew Combs who sounded pretty amazing. I really enjoyed his honky tonk sound, which was heavily influenced by the slide guitar his bandmate played. You can listen to his Daytrotter session here.

Luella and the Sun performing at Good People.

The next night, Birmingham Mountain Radio was hosting a free show at Good People featuring a band called Luella and the Sun. I had only heard their single "Fly So Free" but it was such a neat and unique sound, that I was intrigued. Plus, a free show? Count me in. The weather that night was pretty nasty, but I was pleased to see that a pretty large crowd how still came out to see the band, who ended up being fantastic. I will say that the sound in Good People needs a little work if they want to have bands play there from time to time. It's just way too echo-y in there. But still, I was impressed and I will definitely be checking out Luella and the Sun the next time they are in town. And by the way, they are also playing Hangout Fest, so if you're going to that, be sure you catch their set.

Telegraph Canyon performing at The Bottletree.

Then a couple of days later on Tuesday night, I managed to drag myself out for yet another late night to see my friend Bekah perform with her band Great Book of John. Unfortunately my phone died during the show so the only photo I managed to take was of the first opening band, Telegraph Canyon, a band out of Texas who I was pleasantly surprised by. My first impression of the band was that they sound a bit like a hyrbid of Seryn and the Lumineers. Not a bad mix, huh? For their last number they came off the stage and down to the floor to perform unplugged. Love it when bands do that. Especially when they manage to pull that stunt off well, and Telegraph Canyon certainly did.

I hate that I didn't get a pic of Great Book of John, but if you're a local, you know that GBOJ are Birmingham veterans who always put on a good show. I think their next album is set to be released sometime around April and then they should be on the road a good bit after that. So if you're not a local and they come to a town near you, get out there and see them.

(and btw, even with an iphone, it's clearly impossible to take a bad photo inside the Bottletree.)

The Green Seed performing at Metro.

Feeling a bit like a groupie, I went to see GBOJ again at Metro bar this past Friday night. I have to admit that though I did want to see them, I really wanted to see a hip hop act called The Green Seed. This was mostly because I have still never been able to catch one of their performances, even though they are also local and on the Communicating Vessels label with GBOJ. I can't say that I know much about hip hop, but I do know that I had a great time watching these guys perform. They are high energy and excellent at their craft, plus they have two very talented DJs spinning behind them. It was certainly a different kind of Birmingham night than I am used to experiencing and I look forward to catching them at other future shows.

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