Josh Ritter hits the road hard to start 2013 plus more tour announcements from the past week.
Plenty of HT faves have recorded John Denver covers for a new tribute album.
The summer concert season is upon us and the Hidden Track staff know that it’s virtually impossible for us to afford every show we want to hit, and still be able to pay our insanely expensive New York City rents. Luckily for us, there are a plethora of fantastic free concerts throughout the summer that don’t cost a dime. We decided to weed through all the listings and present to you our 3rd Annual NYC Free Summer Concert Picks. Let’s take a look…
HT Recommends: She & Him / Oakley Hall
Where: The Beach @ Governors Island
When: Sunday, July 4, Beach Opens At 10 AM, Show 4 PM
Official Info: She & Him make music for an eternal springtime, when the temperature is warm enough to go riding with the top (or at least the windows) rolled down and the radio turned up. They occupy an alternate universe where the saddest of songs feel as warm as sun showers; the rain may be coming down, but somewhere nearby, everything looks bright. What began as a fascinating, no-strings attached collaboration on 2008’s Volume One has evolved into a bona fide, touring band, and She & Him are here to stay. Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward are as comfortable and complementary a musical pair as Les Paul and Mary Ford; hearing them again on Volume Two feels like getting together with two old friends. This time, the harmonies have grown more angelically layered, the string arrangements more dramatic, the songwriting even sharper and more confident. But, as with Volume One, the prevailing mood is bittersweet, dreamy, and romantic.
Other Free Shows At Governors Island: 6/5 – Yeasayer, 7/3 – Portugal. The Man / Alberta Cross, 7/10 – Lucero, 7/16 – Caribou / Phantogram / The Chain Gang of 1974, 8/8 – Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band / Justin Townes Earle / Dawn Landes & The Hounds, 8/14 – Neon Indian, 8/15 – Dr. Dog / Cheif
READ ON for the rest of our list of free summer concerts in NYC…
I am assured that peace will come to me,” Josh Ritter sings on “Lark,” a song that channels his inner Paul Simon on his newest album, So Runs the World Away. Before Ritter penned these tunes, the songwriter from Idaho suffered a case of writer’s block, but you can’t tell that he was struggling on his fifth full-length; because on these 13 tracks, Ritter sounds better than ever.
Words: Jonathan ” Kos” Kosakow
Video & Photos: Curtis Stiles
In August of 2007, a blue station wagon pulled up to the Rockwood Music Hall on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After checking to make sure they were legally parked, Jeff Prystowsky and Ben Knox Miller unloaded their own gear and carted it to the small stage. Rockwood, though comfortable and with pristine sound, only holds a handful of people, so it’s not spacious enough to host any large band – or even a small one with a large following. On that night, the room was hardly at capacity, but the two members who comprised The Low Anthem were able to grab hold the ears of every listener in the small, dimly lit brick room. And, based on the post-show conversation, I was not the only one who felt they had a music-making future ahead of them.
I saw them again two years later at The Bell House in Brooklyn, in August of 2009, opening for Surprise Me Mr. Davis featuring Marco Benevento (a welcome addition to the bill). As Miller told me, Surprise Me Mr. Davis was the first band to ask The Low Anthem to tour with them, so it was a comfortable match-up for both (and it made for a nice encore as they joined forces on a couple of tunes). The video below is a gospel standard the trio played that night, Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around…
Though I had seen the Anthem multiple times between these two shows, it was interesting and inspiring to watch the group, now a trio including Jocie Adams, gain popularity while also growing musically.
READ ON for more from the Noise Report…