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Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Category: Folk
March 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Morrison and West find their balance at the Triple Door | Concert preview

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West play the Triple Door Thursday night. Photo by Sol Gutierrez.

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West play the Triple Door Thursday night. Photo by Sol Gutierrez.

Touring never gets easier. Packing your life into a suitcase, trucking all that gear halfway across the country and back again, eating in strange cities and sleeping strange beds — it can all add up to a lot of hard work. It’s the kind of life you’d want to live for a week, not three months at a time.

But making music isn’t the same as playing it, and for Cahalen Morrison and Eli West the act of making music together has gotten decidedly easier as the years have gone on. 

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Country, Folk | Topics: cahalen morrison, eli west, Triple Door

March 25, 2014 at 5:01 PM

The Apache Relay dig deeper at the Tractor Tavern | Concert preview

The Apache Relay plays the Tractor Tavern Wednesday night.

The Apache Relay plays the Tractor Tavern Wednesday night.

Listening to the first moments of The Apache Relay’s new single “Katie Queen of Tennessee,” it’s easy to pick up on the Nashville sextuplet’s pop pedigree in the cloying violin twirl and breezy snare drum. It’s a sophisticated start to their self-titled sophomore album, an 11-song collection full of satisfying, layered moments due out April 22.

“We’re all very inspired by Phil Spector and everything he did with that wall of sound thing,” said guitarist Ben Ford said. “I think on this record we did try to channel a little bit of that, in our own way. Our musical tastes are very eclectic and I think on this record that’s coming out, we thought, ‘This feels right. Let’s go with it.’”

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Country, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: soil and the sun, the apache relay, the lonely wild

March 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Riveting performance by Agnes Obel at St. Mark’s Cathedral | Concert review

Danish musician Agnes Obel’s atmospheric chamber pop held an audience spellbound at a special appearance Saturday night at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Agnes Obel's music was perfectly suited for the wonderful acoustics at St. Mark's Cathedral. (photo: Gillian G. Gaar)

Agnes Obel’s music was perfectly suited for the wonderful acoustics at St. Mark’s Cathedral. (photo: Gillian G. Gaar)

Obel was originally scheduled to appear at St. Mark’s the previous Saturday, March 8, but was held up by visa difficulties. She smiled as she told the audience “Did I mention it’s so fantastic to be in Seattle?” adding that the city’s climate is similar to that of her native Denmark.

Obel accompanied herself on piano, muting the sound by laying a shawl over the strings. Her cool, clear voice was well suited for the delicate, haunting melodies Obel played on the piano, with a violinist and cello player providing a melancholy undercurrent.

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0 Comments | More in Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: Agnes Obel, Bryan John Appleby, Concert reviews

March 7, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Lake Street Dive jumping off | Concert preview

Named after a Minneapolis street dotted with dive bars, this ridiculously infectious boy-girl-boy-girl quartet toiled in obscurity for nearly a decade before pulling in more than a million views of its minimalist YouTube cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” A Manhattan show spun off from the Coen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” earned…

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0 Comments | More in Folk, Jazz, R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: "Bad Self Portraits", Concert Preview, Lake Street Dive

March 4, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Rufus Wainwright gets the crowd moving in Artists Den | New recordings

Rufus Wainwright, ‘Live from the Artists Den’ (Artists Den Records/UMe)

This live recording, available on both CD and Blu-ray, presents singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright’s poignant, memorable performance of May 17, 2012, first broadcast on the PBS show “Live from the Artists Den.”

Rufus Wainwright rises to the occasion in "Live from the Artists Den." (photo: Artists Den Records/UMe)

Rufus Wainwright rises to the occasion in “Live from the Artists Den.” (photo: Artists Den Records/UMe)

Wainwright selected a wonderfully atmospheric setting for the concert; Manhattan’s beautiful Church of the Ascension. The set list draws from his own catalogue and that of his late mother’s, folk singer Kate McGarrigle.

In fact, Wainwright conjures up his mother’s memory in the opening song, “Candles” (from his 2012 album “Out of the Night”), a heartstring-pulling number about trying to find just the right place to light a candle in his mother’s memory. Later in the set he performs “On My Way to Town,” a song his mother wrote with her sister, Anna, which features a gentle piano accompaniment. You can hear him whispering “Thank you, mom,” at the song’s end.

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0 Comments | More in Folk | Topics: New Recordings, Rufus Wainwright

February 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Good music, bad vibes at Sun Kil Moon show | Concert review

Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek played Seattle Friday. Photo by Bill Ellison.

“I’m spilling my guts up here and you guys won’t shut up.”

So went one of several tense exchanges between Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek and his audience Friday at The Neptune Theatre.

In contrast to the delicate, vulnerable nature of his songwriting, the San Francisco singer-guitarist’s disposition can be ornery, even caustic.

Friday, however, his ire was warranted.

Before he even played a note, Kozelek was fighting an uphill battle. The venue staff was asleep at the switch, unresponsive to his pleas for more light onstage and more reverb on his nylon-stringed guitar.

Misreading his frustration as contempt, some showgoers started heckling Kozelek, casting a pall of negativity over a night meant to celebrate the 47-year-old artist’s current renaissance.

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, San Francisco, The Neptune

February 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

The Head and the Heart bring it all back home | Concert preview

Seattle’s refreshingly earnest neo-folkies The Head and the Heart continue to rock the world with their recent album, “Let’s Be Still,” as they’ve been anything but, appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and confirming a slot at this year’s Coachella festival. They’re back home for two nights, with Rose Windows and La Luz opening Friday and the…

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk | Topics: Concert Preview, The Heart and the Heart

February 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Wintergrass celebrates bluegrass collaborations | Festival preview

The crowd's part of the show at Wintergrass. (Maria Camillo)

The crowd’s part of the show at Wintergrass. (Maria Camillo)

Organizers of this year’s Wintergrass, the annual bluegrass-music festival hosted in Bellevue, chose “The Power of Interaction and Collaboration” as their theme.

In that spirit, they formed a special band — members include former Prairie Home Companion music director Peter Ostroushko and Pearl Django member David Lange — and will offer workshops on collaboration.

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk | Topics: Chris Thile, Festival Preview, tim o'brien

February 21, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Rosanne Cash brings ‘The River & the Thread’ | Concert preview

(Clay Patrick McBride)

(Clay Patrick McBride)

“I think it takes until middle age before you’re interested in your ancestry,” says singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, 58, who has had 11 No. 1 country singles and also happens to be the daughter of the late Johnny Cash. “I thought my connection to the South was just a footnote.”

That was before Cash and her husband (and producer) John Leventhal and her 13-year-old son took a road trip to the South.

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: 'The River & the Thread', Concert Preview, Moore Theatre

February 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

A Q&A with Sun Kil Moon songsmith Mark Kozelek | Extras

Sun Kil Moon

Mark Kozelek, pictured, performs live as Sun Kil Moon at The Neptune in Seattle this Friday. Photo by Gabriel Shepard.

“Benji,” the devastating new LP from Sun Kil Moon — the pen name of San Francisco’s Mark Kozelek — is an early album-of-the-year contender, and a bold addition to a first-rate catalog. The singer-guitarist plays Seattle’s Neptune Friday — read Soundposts’ preview here.

Kozelek doesn’t grant interviews often, but graciously spoke via email about subjects including songwriting, concert etiquette and the recording process.

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: indie, San Francisco, The Neptune

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