It was so good to see Psalmships(Joshua Britton accompanied by Carl Cheeseman) at Bourbon & Branch (Philadelphia, PA) Wednesday night. I haven’t seen Psalmships perform live in a few years. I think that made the show feel extra special. I was definitely missing that live Psalmships sound. In case you were wondering, the Psalmships duo of Joshua Britton and Carl Cheeseman with electric instruments just works brilliantly. I hope there are more Psalmships shows to come. I’ll be there!
Below are a few photos from Psalmships set Wednesday night at Bourbon & Branch.
Upon entering the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Cafe located in Somerville, NJ I immediately felt its warm, cozy, welcoming atmosphere. The necessary qualities for a music venue that hosts live acoustic shows. The stage area is at the very front of the cafe with the storefront windows as a backdrop with a view of Somerville just outside the store.
After some brief piano playing and words from the host the show began with a set by Sonofdov. The performers played alternating sets in in-the-round fashion. Collectively Sonofdov’s sets included older material like “King of The World”, new material such as “A Low Hush Keel”. There was even a song from a previous band Sonofdov’s Dennis King used to belong to tossed in for his former bandmate was in the audience. In my opinion, this performance keeps Sonofdov in the category of talented singer-songwriters that I am grateful to know, who have my unwavering support, and remind me why I love music.
Emily Barnes was the other singer-songwriter on the bill and the one alternating sets with Sonofdov. Had I done my music homework I might have been able to identify some of Barnes’ songs beforehand but I went into this show with a relatively clean slate for Emily Barnes’ music. Anyways, what I take away from this show about Barnes is that she is a dedicated singer-songwriter, with a beautiful voice, and an ability to take command of a room. Also, she said she’s not a piano player yet she played a few songs on piano with such ease and confidence. Not a piano player—really!?! Well, Emily Barnes, you have my attention now and I am listening.
Overall it was a stellar night of music in a nice venue in a northern New Jersey town. Traveling from the Philadelphia area to the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Café isn’t very convenient but I’ll consider returning if any of my favorites play there or if I happen to be in the neighborhood. As for Friday’s show, I really enjoyed the experience. Plus, it was nice to see two artists who spoke so highly of each other and are true fans of each other’s work. Sometimes I hear artists say such things but I’m not convinced it’s true—this time it seemed undeniably genuine.
This week Sonofdov released a new single titled “A Low Hush Keel”. This song was written and recorded in the spring of this year and is the first song in a set of new recordings. Being surprised with this new single made my day and listening to “A Low Hush Keel” makes my ears smile.
“A Low Hush Keel” opens with the crisp sole sound of a prominently strummed acoustic guitar. Next, comes the lull of those beautifully harmonious oohs. Then, the main attraction, the unassertive yet noticeably sincere timbre of Sonofdov’s (singer-songwriter Dennis King) voice. You might recognize the chorus from Sonofdov’s previously released single, “Night Vision”. The familiarity of the chorus only adds to the musical cohesion.
Lyric-wise “A Low Hush Keel” adheres to Sonofdov standards—solid songwriting by way of bold imagery with a touch of mystery. I mean, don’t the lyrics “but darkness is the devil and the devil was her friend” make you pause and think? And the quiet plea “please don’t lose control” is repeated just enough times to make you believe in its importance.
While listening to this song you might feel like a spectator in someone else’s life, almost like a scene out of a movie, and you’ll be glad that you were there to witness it. “A Low Hush Keel” is the embodiment of a peaceful timeless world and the kind of song that you might listen to if you needed an escape.
“A Low Hush Keel” is available now for download via Bandcamp.com.
Last night I saw Val Emmich & The Veeries at The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ) and it was a fantastic performance. I hope these photos and videos capture some of that live experience. If not, it’s always best to witness these performances in person. See you at a show!
Val Emmich’s ‘The Reminders’ Book Release Concert (presented by Little City Books) was last night (June 3, 2017) at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ and it was a fantastic celebration. I hope these photos and videos give you an idea of what the event was like. Last night was so wonderful and was definitely one of those rare nights that you wish you could live over and over again. Wow!