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Concert Reviews

Between the Ditches: Paris Luna’s Album Release at Dixie Tavern

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Dixie Tavern, known for great live music, good food, and plenty of parking, played host to Paris Luna’s album release party on Thursday, November 29th.

Atlanta based singer-songwriter, Tim McNary opened the show. If you like the sound of David Gray, you will love Tim McNary. With raw, haunting vocals and nostalgic lyrics, you can REALLY feel his music. His play list for the evening included “Dirty Gypsy Soul,” “Hold On,” “Birmingham” and “Your Other Man.”  Sean Bennett’s percussion and Nelson Nolen’s mandolin enriched the sound. Dan Sheffield made a special appearance and shared the stage with his dear friend.
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Tim McNary’s sophomore album, Honeysuckle Dervish, is complete, and will be released on January 27th, 2013.

Over the course of seven years, guitarist Michael Harris, drummer Kane Russell, bassist Toby Marriott, and Heather Russell–vocalist, pianist, acoustic guitarist and songwriter–have been known as Paris Luna. Even though Paris Luna is the name of the band, many refer to Heather as Paris Luna.  Frequently joined by Barry Waldrep, Paris Luna creatively fuses country and rock to produce a unique, signature sound.
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Opening the set, “All for Nothing” is a perfect example of well-crafted lyrics, with spirit. “Lately “and “Tell Me Why” followed it, and both are graceful, beautiful tunes. The new album, Between the Ditches, includes the following songs which were played that night: “Boots and Bangles,” “My America,” “If You’re Not There With Me” and “Southern Girl.” I must say, I’m thoroughly impressed with the voracious talent of lush vocals and savory flavors of rich and enticing music.

Just before the night ended, Paris Luna introduced special guests, Benji Shanks and Seth Watters. [nggallery id=696]What a treat … a stage full of talent and ‘masters of sound.’

I had the pleasure of personally meeting Paris Luna at a performance the night before the 2012 GA Music Awards.  The following evening, I watched her accept the Best Rock Female Award at the inaugural ceremony. Heather Russell is humble, kind, and grounded.  All of these traits are reflected in her work, as Paris Luna is an advocate for children and has played at Children’s Hospitals through “500 Songs for Kids” and multiple camps associated with the hospitals. Paris Luna is also working on a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, as well as other charity organizations, to help make a difference in a better tomorrow.

What’s next for Paris Luna?  A Bluegrass Banjo/Southern Rock CD, to be recorded at Singular Records (San Francisco, CA) in January 2013.

The project includes the following players:
Banjo:  Barry Waldrep (The Barry Waldrep Band)
Bass: Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band)
Drums: Paul Riddle (The Marshall Tucker Band)
Hammond: Coy Bowles (The Zac Brown Band)
Guitar: Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke)
Guitar: Benji Shanks (Captian Soularcat/Last Waltz Ensemble)
Vocals: Heather Russell (Paris Luna)

If you missed the CD release party, you can catch Heather performing with Barry Waldrep and the Scott Little Band at Eddie’s Attic December 8th and December 13th at Eddie Owens Red Clay Theatre  Kurt Scobie and Sarah Peacock

Photos ©2012 Brian Harris

Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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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.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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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.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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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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