The Grote Zaal of De Oosterpoort during the 2018′s TakeRoot festival.
TakeRoot Festival. Saturday, 2 November 2019, at De Oosterpoort, Groningen, The Netherlands. Tickets for sale here.
Coming of age in the era of MySpace meant stumbling into a lot of “A little bit of everything, except country and rap” on your fellow scenester’s profiles. Fast forward some 15 years, and there’s a rapper headlining your favorite indie festival, much to the disgust of a few folks who haven’t grown from their proud everything-except-country-and-rap pedestal. But most young alternative Europeans still look at country music with the same disgusted look that your aunt made the first time she stumbled upon a 50 Cent music video.
Off the radar singer-songwriters you’ve probably never heard before: this is why you visit Bolachas, right? Unfortunately, we still almost never hear anything about Portland’s Mama Bird Recording Co and their artists (Barna Howard and Saintseneca both had released pretty decent albums last year) here in Europe. Let’s hope that changes when the Old Continent sinks its ears into Widower’s debut LP, Fool Moon, a stunning collection of alt-country songs that came out just last week and you can order here. You can watch the video for “Grasp” above and download another song off the record here. You can tell by my lack of comparisons with other songwriters that Kevin Large, the man behind the Widower moniker, is really someone to look up to.
There’s not a single song nor a video to show you, but I had to take a pair of minutes just to let you know David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Matt and Bubba Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year) have formed a new band called OVERSEAS. There’s an album coming out later this year. Someone at Facebook took the time to say all I ever needed to say about this announcement: The mere idea of this makes me all warm and fuzzy. Word.
The second show of the concert series we’re presenting in partnership with Mercado Negro (Aveiro, PT’s finest venue) takes place next Friday. This time around we bring you Zachary Cale and The Black Swans, two of the best American songwriters the 00s have brought us. Here’s what other people said about their latest records…
Starting to listen to Will Stratton takes us to that awkward moment when we know that someone is really huge but only a small part of the world had already realized the same. Luckily for me, I could attend a house show by this wonderful North-American songwriter, this week in Paris. The event, kindly promoted by the team GoodMorninCaptn, took place in a pretty apartment at Montmartre, in a very quiet and intimate atmosphere.
Will Stratton, a young Californian musician now based in New York, traveled Europe for two months promoting his fourth album, Post-Empire. On this adventure, Will has been accompanied by Paleo, another great artist with a very characteristic voice and a large repertory of songs and concerts, who also came from U.S. to present his own work.
Paleo, with his shoes off, was the responsible for the first musical act of the night. After him, on a very subtle way, Will Stratton just sat on a chair with his guitar and silenced the discrete audience with the amazing “When You Let Your Hair Down to Your Shoulders”. The first song is one of the most important moments of a gig (right?) and Will Stratton did it SO well.
It was really pleasant being sat on a comfy sofa, with nice people by my side and with two cats walking around while a very talent artist was in front of me, singing and explaining some songs, as the one about his great-grandfather (“El Capitan”) or another about his first love (“Loose but Not Broke”). At some moments, Will looked like a kid, fingerpicking his guitar with deep pleasure and making little experiences with his voice, which turned the songs a bit different from the album. My favorite part of this acoustic show was “The Relatively Fair”, a lovely song that made my heart flickered a little when Will closed his eyes while he sang that “I’ve never known you and chances are I never will, but if you hear this, know that I love you still” (yeah, deep and sad songs are always the best ones for me).
The guitar arrangements are genius, the lyrics are very beautiful and well written and besides his musical skills, Will has an amazing beard – hey, you gotta love him!
On the next day both artists played again a showcase in one of my favorite places in Paris: the lovely Fabrique Balades Sonores. On this show, Will played more songs of Post-Empire, as the theme that gave the title to the album and the very beautiful “Tell Me, Where do I Begin?”.