To singer-songwriter with love

To singer-songwriter with love

Do you know Tom Houses music? Local singer/songwriter Keith Morris thinks that you ought to, and he is offering to do something about it. “I don’t want to get all hyperbolic on you, but I feel kind of like we’re recognizing Van Gogh while he’s still alive, you know?” Poet-turned-songwriter House released his first CD in 1997, and he has been putting out interesting roots music ever since. House hails from North Carolina and, as Morris puts it, still has a lot of Roscoe Holcomb-style old-time in his music. Everyone who has heard his records or live shows knows that his style is raucous and literate.

Keith Morris really, really wants you to see Tom House—he organized a tribute/showcase concert for the man himself at Gravity Lounge June 13.

Morris loves House’s music so much that he organized a tribute/showcase concert at Gravity Lounge on Wednesday, June 13. The idea hatched during a late-night conversation at the C&O, and Morris ran with the proverbial ball. David Sickmen, Devon Sproule and Morris will play an in-the-round set to open the show. All three openers will incorporate some of House’s tunes into their own material. Paul Curreri wanted to get in on the gig as well, but he had previous engagements in Europe.

Morris says, “I like intense songwriters. The ones that scare me a little bit. And he just blows me away. He is like Cormac McCarthy put to music. When you talk about your own music, you kind of hold back. But with Tom, you can let it all out. I think people (who come to the show) will be hit hard by his music.”

If you want to sample some of House’s tunes, such as “I’m In Love With Susan Smith,” go to Keith Morris’ Myspace page and find them posted there. Then, take Morris up on his offer, and go see a great live show.

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Listen to Big Chief by Matty Metcalfe and Crewe d’Bayou, composer, Earl King:


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Listen to Muddflap Scat by Matty Metcalfe and Crewe d’Bayou, composer, Matty Metcalfe:


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Courtesy of Matty Metcalfe – Thank you!

Fiddler Alex Caton has put together a fantastic new group called Verbunk, which may be Romanian for “Oh No You Didn’t!” The band includes accordionist Matty Metcalfe, tremendous multi-instrumentalist Dan Sebring, whose sweet fiddle tone matches Caton’s, and bassist Lew Burrus, who is ever in demand. Metcalfe, Sebring and Caton all bring original tunes to the set, as well as interesting covers, from old gypsy standards to Daniel Lanois. When Verbunk stretches out, the musicianship is truly fantastic.

You can also catch Metcalfe’s zydeco band, Crewe d’Bayou, at Fellini’s #9 on June 16. John D’earth and Robert Jospé will be on hand to sit in with Matty and regular guitarist Mike D’Antoni. What if Jimi Hendrix had taken up the accordion after all?

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It has been seven years since the Hackensaw Boys believed in the idea of their band enough to get in their 1964 bus and make a nationwide seat-of-their-pants tour. In those seven years, as in life, much has changed and much has stayed the same.
Four of the original 13 members are still with the band. And while it seems like the natural front men have split (three of them, David Sickmen, Bobby St. Ours and David Goldstein, are all making great music here), the Hacks’ arc has continued upward, although not at a meteoric pace.

Resident accordion virtuoso Matty Metcalfe (right) assembles an all-star cast of supporting characters, including trumpeter John D’earth, for a night of zydeco at Fellini’s #9 June 16.

The band’s second CD for Nettwerk Records and fifth overall, Look Out, is due out June 19th. (You can preorder a copy on the band’s website.) Recorded at The Sound of Music in Richmond, H-Boy Jesse Fiske says that the band’s first Nettwerk release was its “make out album” and that the new one is the band’s “party album”—twelve back-to-the-roots, looking to get things fired up tunes. Ferd Moyse and Rob Bullington both contributed tunes to the new record, as did original bass player Tom Peloso. Peloso left the Hacks several years ago to join Modest Mouse, a band with a No. 1 record under its belt. Though he tours constantly, Peloso has maintained his ties with the Boys. Moyce’s fiddle playing is said to be particularly good on the new record, and the Hacks dedicated the new disc to early member Phil Gianniny.

The Hacks are just back from a tour of Europe, and now that it is summertime, gracias a Dios, the band’s touring schedule is rigorous, with outdoor events and festivals like Floyd on their itinerary. We here in town can see the band at the Pavilion Saturday, June 2, as they play the grand finale of the 2007 Festival of the Photograph.

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