Yer Bird’s “Folk Music For The End Of The World”: CD Release Show
Yer Bird is a wonderful, small, independent folk label based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. "Folk Music for the End of the World" is a compilation of new, unreleased and rare recordings which Yer Bird has recently collected and compiled. The CD features gorgeous artwork and 17 tracks by songwriters from all directions. Three of the artists on the comp converged upon Charlottesville's Tea Bazaar on June 29th to showcase their personal talents and to promote the comp CD release. Chris Bathgate, Sarah White, And Hezekiah Jones were joined by the Spinning Leaves for a monumental night of acoustic music.
Yer Bird's "Folk Music For The End Of The World": CD Release Show (19.2 MiB, 464 hits)
Hezekiah Jones kicked off the set and filled the room with his sweet sounds. Unfortunately I arrived only in time to hear his last song. I set up my recording gear as quickly as possible and was able to record most of this finale. It was a fine rendition of the traditional number "Dark Hollow", with back up vocals supplied by fellow Philadelphians, the Spinning Leaves. We made a point of posting this fragment, even though we'd have loved to have captured the whole set, so you can hear the sublime quality of his voice.
Spinning Leaves, played next and demonstrated the many facets of their sound. Michael Baker and Barbara Gettes took turns leading the way as songwriter and lead vocalist, and backing each other up. Michael, at times, employed the harmonica and guitar together, ala Dylan which for me is always a treat to hear live. They even threw in an entertaining cover of the early ska-reggae hit "Pressure Drop", which added another nice layer to the presentation of their music.
Sarah White represented the local talent for the show. She is Charlottesville's stalwart female songwriter and one of the most promising local musicians currently around. Morgan from Yer Bird, described her contribution to his compilation as, "Striking a balance somewhere between her early Jagjaguwar lo-fi releases and her newer melodic emphasis with the Pearls, this is sad, wonderful and all stripped-down to it's essence." Whether performing solo, or with her band the Pearls, Sarah always projects and plucks away with precision and elan. This brief solo set was no exception.
Chris Bathgate, a Michigan native, closed out the evening with an impressive set, employing looping pedals, a Fender amp, and two vocal microphones to elicit a lush sound, without straying too far from the rest of the evening's vibe and flow. Chris carried the air of a confident professional, while retaining a endearing humbleness. He built up walls of guitar loops and drenched vocals, to play over top. His primary, straightforward vocal sound and delivery was somewhat hushed and whispery but carried a certain strength within. As the clock crept forward and the Tea Bazaar was to close, the audience demanded more music and Chris obliged with one last number, a funny song about an old friend who alway found his way to trouble.
Folk enthusiasts and lovers of honest straight forward music and those who love to support those who love music all should consider supporting Yer Bird and any or all of the folks who gave tracks to the "Folk Music for the End of the World" comp. Please enjoy the live recordings made during the show!
text and recordings by Matthew Clark
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