Friday, April 24, 2009

One of These Things First

Wednesday night, Bernie and I went over to the Bowery Ballroom to catch Dawn with Josh and Ray opening for Alexi Murdoch. I didn't know anything about Murdoch's music, but I'm a big fan of Dawn's and was excited to see the chemistry of the band, having just spent a few weeks traveling around with Josh and Balthrop, Alabama.

The place was packed early and the crowd was attentive and engaged during Dawn's set, which was nice to see; openers are not always greeted with enthusiasm. But Josh's amazing musicality and Ray's multi-instrumentalist approach to percussion (he plays harmonica and has a keyboard stuck in amongst his kit) are perfectly suited to filling out Dawn's songs. The energy that bursts out of the trio is infectious and can be fiery. "I've never broken a string before," said Dawn sheepishly, rising from her knees after playing the raging guitar hero during Picture Show.

The crowd greeted Murdoch's take on Nick Drake-like folk rock with a reverence that Drake never received in his lifetime. Murdoch has an avid crowd and they'd been waiting a while for his American return. The music is almost an homage and it will be interesting to see where he takes it as he sublimates his exquisite Nick Drake tendencies and crafts a sound that's all his own.


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