Bands and artists I forgot to love as much as I thought I would last year
On New Year’s Eve, during the day, I thought it would be so much fun to read my every tweet from 2009. It took, oh, about four hours. (Note to self: either tweet less or don’t take on this self-inflicted project again.)
One thing I was surprised to see, though, was the amount of music I saw and immediately forgot about – probably because 1) I see an inordinate amount of live music, and 2) my memory is really terrible. In most cases, these were either passing recommendations from friends or bands I caught at particularly frantic festivals – both easy to forget, considering the contexts. So, I resolved to start the year revisiting those great artists and giving them the due time and attention I, at some point, believed they deserved. And, since I’m a blogger, I also resolved to share this revisiting of the great forgotten music of last year, with you. Yes, it’s a list. Sorry Ed.
According to my tweet, I saw these guys on Letterman one night and thought they reminded me of Kings of Convenience (another band I have loved and forgotten about at random intervals ever since I discovered them a few years ago). They’re definitely not twangy, but I’m not exactly sure what to call their style so I’ll just throw it in the whatever-it-is category. Here’s Razorlight’s website.
The Crying Shame
These guys were part of a Willie Nelson tribute at Seattle’s Conor Byrne Pub, and I remember finding them particularly captivating as performers. I haven’t heard anything about them since, though, so who knows if they’ve broken up or hit the road, moved towns, or just gone into hiding. (Or perhaps their shows just aren’t mentioned in the places I look when planning my week, though I find that hard to believe.) Here’s the Crying Shame’s website.
I caught Stoneking in the woods at Pickathon. His entire band wasn’t permitted into the country, so we was backed by, if memory serves, members of Pink Martini. It was easily one of my favorite live sets of the year. Here’s CW Stoneking on MySpace.
Lost Bayou Ramblers
These guys were another pleasant surprise from Pickathon. They were onstage in the barn just about the time I ran over there to grab my camera, which I’d left backstage. If memory serves, Blitzen Trapper was on the mainstage at the same time and I’d intended to catch them. LBR was too good to leave, though, and these are the sacrifices we make at festivals. Here’s the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ website.
Amelia was part of a Canadiana showcase at the AMA conference one afternoon. It was early in the week, and there was so much music, so I tucked the experience away in my memory and let it get drowned out by everything else I saw that week. But, thanks to Twitter, I get to remember her now. Terrific, sad singer-songwriter stuff. A bit on the loquacious side, but artfully so. Here’s Amelia Curran’s website.
The Mother Hips
I knew of the Mother Hips before this year (I believe I reviewed a CD of theirs years ago when I was contributing to Performer magazine). Forgot about them, and then they resurfaced as the stirringly rocking opening band for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at the Tractor one night toward the end of the year. I chose this video of them with Jackie Greene, because he’s another artist who falls on and off my radar every now and again. Here’s the Mother Hips’ website.
The Parson Red Heads
If I recall, these guys were traveling without their rhythm section, for some reason, when I caught them at the Sunset Tavern opening for Grand Hallway at Kyla’s suggestion. The set was very quiet, and I recall being stirred particularly by the beautiful harmonies. It’s interesting and notable that the stylistic vibe isn’t that different here, with a full rhythm section employed. Here’s the Parson Red Heads’ website.
Anything else I’m missing? What gems have you forgotten to remember?