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Archive for the ‘Espers’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 29, 2022] Chris Forsyth

I saw Chris Forsyth a few years ago and have been wanting to see him again.  It didn’t really matter what he was playing, I knew I’d enjoy his improv-filled jamming rock songs.

I was pretty excited to see him at Johnny Brenda’s as I knew I could get up close to watch him play.  It turned out that this particular show lined up with the Philadelphia Phillies’ first home game of the World Series.  Which meant that a) it was impossible to find parking and b) hardly anyone was in the concert hall.  Which was fine for me.  And probably for him, as I’m sure he sold a bunch of tickets ahead of time.

After raving about Meg Baird, Chris came up on stage with some of the band that Meg had used.  Douglas McCombs (from Tortoise!) and my favorite new (to me) drummer, Ryan Jewell.

The show started with Chris on a guitar that he didn’t play for the rest of the night.  The song was quiet and a little trippy.  A simple guitar chord structure with very loud simple bass line from McCombs.  I thought I knew the new album pretty well, but I didn’t recognize this song.  Nevertheless is was clearly a Chris Forsyth song with an interesting riffs and a tasteful solo or two.   I enjoyed how after about three or four minutes of this quieter introduction, the band totally rocked out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 29, 2022] Meg Baird

I saw Chris Forsyth a few years ago and have been wanting to see him again.  Having Meg Baird co-headline was a bonus.  As Chris said:

On this tour, Meg & I will each be doing a set with a great band (Douglas McCombs, Ryan Jewell, and Charlie Saufley, and if they don’t appear throughout your music library, how did you even get this email?). Although it’s very much a co-bill / co-headline thing, we’ve decided that Meg will play first and I will play second, mainly for volume/dynamic considerations.

Meg’s name sounded familiar to me and I realized that I have an album that she made with harpist Mary Lattimore.  But it also turns out that she is the drummer for the band Heron Oblivion whom I saw back in 2018.  Turns out that Charlie Saufley is also in Heron Oblivion.

For this set, Meg sat at a keyboard, although mostly she played acoustic guitar.  Saufley played lead and Douglas McCombs played bass.  I was also pretty excited to find out that Ryan Jewell was on the drum kit.  He is one of my favorite drummers to watch.

Meg sat right in front of me and I was enthralled by her voice (which can soar to incredible heights).  For Ashes she “oohed” rather than singing words and it was angelic.  She sounds like she could be singing with a Fairport Convention or another sixties British folk rock band.  (more…)

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