Two alternative rock artists to watch: J. Irvin Dally and Graham Colton play the Hotel Utah, SF
J. Irvin Dally and Graham Colton graced the cozy Hotel Utah stage for a spectacular offering of the two young alternative rock artists today. While Colton was defenitly the more mainstream of the two, with the most widespread success, Dally is not to be underestimated as an opening act. In fact, while Colton’s poppy rock music certainly woed all the girls in the audience (who, it goes without saying, know all the words by heart) and got the guys tapping their feet to the well-executed songs of love; Dally may have more meat to dig in to for some. His songs are harder to decode than Colton’s music, which is more up front. Dally and Colton both played solo–Dally had more of a finger-picking style though, while Colton had his strum going full tilt. Colton’s music certainly brings the deep “I’ve been there” flashbacks for listeners. Luckily his optimism and little idiosyncranies blunt the impact nicely, and make his music appealing while fully heart-wrenching. His song “Best Days” was featured on the farwell sequence of American Idol, which led to opportunities to perform on the Late Show with David Letterman, Jay Leno, the Today Show, and the Ellen DeGeneres show. He toured with the Counting Crows, among many other large acts, and his fourth album “Pacific Coast Eyes” is out now.
Dally is the quiet mesmerizing type. His full length Despistado (released in 2010) was followed by the “Sun Room” EP, released this month on the Oakland label Pretty Blue Presents. His voice, combined with the soothing and unique accompanying music, has the ethereal quality of artists like Nick Drake. Although he appears somewhat shy, he has confidence in his performance that keeps you with him every step of the way. Check out “Wild Things” from his full length CD, and the line “Her hair, so long, it dipped in the cup, as she reached across the table; to pull me in and kiss me stable. Her hair still grows long the day after the rain, when the air is clean” will stick with you long after the song is over. Another standout song which he performed at the Utah was “Sleep”, with the memorable repeated line “Live alone with the freedom. Live alone with the freedom of myself. And nobody else”. Dally is an artist on the rise. Take a peak at stirring video for his new song “Sun Room”, and expect more great work from him in the coming years.