Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My New England Americana Fest: Day "3"...nighttime

Day changes to night, the freaks come out, the musicians parade around the square…not really sure where I am going with that, but one thing is for certain: Harvard Square is bustling with folks moving between venues with big smiles on their faces from the NEAF and the artists they have seen throughout the day. For reason I shall not name, I spent most of my evening at Passim on Saturday (not that there is anything to complain about for that fact).

First up was Dietrich Strause. A creator of well crafted songs, a songsmith, a poet and a hell of a finger picker. He was joined by the super talented Laurence Scudder on viola and Jim "I am great at multiple instruments" Larkin on the bass. A wonderful set of new and olds tunes from this guy. He has a real fresh and approachable presence in his performance. You can tell he is just happy to be on any stage and share his stories as he expertly picks out his songs to a full crowd for the early set at Passim. A really great performance.

I kind of blanked for the next 45-60 minutes...reasons unknown.

Ryan Fitzsimmons is a beast on stage.I could stop there, but he is also a hell of a songwriter and guy. And plays with excellent musicians, just infectious, infectious music here. You hang on every note that these guys play while rocking the hell out...and for once I don't think Ryan broke a string. But I could be wrong.

"Patrick Coman, where the f*** did that guitar playing come from???" - me 30 seconds into the first
song these guys played. This was a pretty new line up for the band...at least for me. Guess its been a while, but Coman and the gang had people tapping their feet to their country-bluesy sound. Energy just kept on moving up the ranks throughout the night.

For someone who doesn't seem to get out locally as much as he used too, John Colvert and his band sure don't seem out of touch with the live performance part of this business. Colvert had a pocket full of new tunes to share and a high energy set in which to share them. Although he mentioned it was the band's last show together I am sure you will be seeing John out more and more in the upcoming weeks. This set was too damn good to cage that man down.

I must say, I f***ing love these guys and perhaps the most disappointing part of the festival for me was that there wasn't a line down the street to get into Passim to see them. Sam Otis Hill somehow blends roadhouse rock with the best kind of poignant songwriting. Not sure how he does it, but him and the boys will fit the bill at any dive you can throw at them or on a listening stage like Passim and not miss a beat. Always a pleasure to see them and hear these songs, this night was no different and the guys played a great versatile set of barroom laments and rootsy ballads.

Till the morning comes...

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