Carolina Story is made up of Ben Roberts and Emily Olson. They met in 2007 at Visible Music College in Memphis and hit it off immediately…both musically and personally. After a camping trip to North Carolina, they began to discuss their musical futures and started playing together as Carolina Story. Ben, a dead ringer for Thor (you know the god of thunder), accompanies the duo on guitar and harp. Emily, a tall, striking beauty with roots in North Dakota, is the angelic voiced counter to Ben’s soulful singing and thundering velvet handed guitar.
On the Soul Stormin’ Tour, Carolina Story chose to open tonight’s show rather than headline. Drawing heavily from their recent release Home, this husband and wife duo sing about life and love on the road. My favorite from the set and their new album is “Someone Else,” with a chorus seemingly from my yoga practice – “If we could only see past ourselves…Then we could finally see someone else.”
The only cover was Ben’s tribute to his greatest musical influence–fellow Arkansas native, Levon Helm. Their soulful version of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” was a highlight of their show.
Throughout the set, the talkative Ben spoke of life on the road and the ups and downs that a married couple experience. His ode to his wife, an apology song, “Cheers To Loving Me” can be viewed in a self made video on YouTube. At the end of the show, Ben said, “We sing songs about our life.” I felt like I had become musically intimate with this young and talented couple and their take on living and loving life on the road.
Star & Micey is one of the best bands you have never heard of–I had to look twice as I thought I was listening to a stripped down version of the Decemberists. Hailing from my home town of Memphis, the Soul Stormin’ lineup of Star & Micey is Josh Cosby, Geoff Smith and Nick Redmond. Word is they have a crazy loyal following in Memphis, and they made a serious impression at this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin.
They had a childlike and comedic charm; they played old timey-tinged pop tunes that make you want to bounce up and down in your seat, if you hadn’t already stood up to clap along with the band. They closed their indie-folk, pop, and bluegrass tinged set with the Howlin’ Wolf classic “Mississippi Queen” accompanied by Carolina Story.
All in all, a great evening of Americana music at one of the ATL’s best live listening venues, Eddie’s Attic.
For more live music reviews, follow me on twitter @Larry_Singleton.
Setlist – Carolina Story @ Eddie’s Attic 11-7-2012
Carry Me Home
If I Could Hold You
My Feet Keep Me Moving
Cheers To Loving Me
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Band cover)
Lonely Without You
I‘m Gonna Love You Forever
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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