Horse Feathers, Mount Moriah, and Matt Bauer rolled through Johnny Brenda’s in Philly’s Northern Liberties neighborhood for what proved to be a showcase that exemplified the beauty of tightly woven musical subtleties that conveyed engaging movements that all but mesmerized a standing room only audience. We tend to cover a lot of hard hitting punk and metal that often makes its mark with sheer brutality and breakneck speeds. It’s nice to be moved by a show that showcases the power of softly delivered musical landscapes with a wide array of instrumentation that included the use of banjos, violins, cellos, guitars, drums, not to mention a barrage of gifted vocalists. Each artist clearly delivering a unique niche that saw more and more fans gravitate towards the stage as the evening progressed.
Matt Bauer is currently supporting his latest release The Jessamine County Book of the Living on Crossbill Records which AllMusic.com described, “The slow, considered musical arrangements are based on Bauer‘s own banjo or guitar picking, but they expand to include a ten-piece chamber orchestra of strings and horns. This is a vaguely rural species of art song in the music and the esoteric lyrics..”
Mount Moriah features Heather McEntire (of post-punk veterans Bellafea) and Jenks Miller (of heavy-psych/metal outfit Horseback) who just released its self-titled LP, which Holiday For Quince Records described by saying, “Mount Moriah’s long-awaited, self-titled debut — featuring guest instrumentation by members of St. Vincent, Megafaun, and many other North Carolina-based musicians — is cut from the same cloth, offering a far-reaching and non-traditional take on classic folk themes like devotion, tribulation, redemption, and an indelible sense of place.”
Horse Feathers have just released Cynic’s New Year on the Kill Rock Stars label, which describes this latest effort by saying, “New Year’s Eve always suggests a new beginning, and Cynic’s New Year welcomes Horse Feathers‘ fans with the promise of something new. To be sure, old friends return. Wrapped around Justin Ringle’s unique vocals are sparkling guitars, dancing fiddles, and smoky banjo woven through the foundation of the lower strings. But new elements are everywhere: horn, woodwind and brass appear and fade, and drums drive the beat in places, providing new texture and heft. The lyrics traverse familiar themes from natural disaster to the deeply personal, each through Justin Ringle’s uniquely American linguistic lens. New vistas and new stories are explored with deep insight and fresh intimacy, always with an abiding respect and affection. The universe rises to threaten, inspire, and sometimes punish, but always to teach a valuable lesson. Souls, lost and found, embark on thoughtful emotional journeys.”
We know you are here for the pictures, so without firther ado..
All photos by Joshua T. Cohen
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