A few months ago Cheryl and I attended the Far West Folk Alliance conference in Bellingham as a chance to discover some new music for this house concert series. We had a great time and heard lots of great music. Among the stand out performances we saw, West, My Friend, shone brighter than most.
This Canadian quartet features bluegrass instrumentation, guitar, mandolin, upright bass plus accordion. Their songs are all original and their playing is masterful. Their musical energy propels the listener into an altered, and altogether better, reality. The vocals and vocal harmonies are stellar.
From their web-site:
Described as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and four-part harmonies that challenges the conventions of popular music. The band features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals with catchy arrangements of bass, guitar, mandolin, and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk, and pop influences. Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, Joanna Newsom, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, and the Punch Brothers, and forged from a sonically adventurous acoustic music scene on Canada’s west coast, West My Friend is proving to be a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music.
We hope you will join us for this fantastic show. Suggested donations remain $20 per seat. Snacks provided. No opener on this one.
Some YouTube videos:
“Gideon Freudmann is a talented, experimental cellist that got the ear of producers from NPR’s All Thing’s Considered. There is sense of humor, a spirit of eclectic adventure, and a mastery of classic and jazz forms in these pieces. This fusion of talent & experiment makes for a peerless and unforgettable collection of gems.”
– Perfect Sound Forever
“Taking a modern artist’s approach to the four-stringed instrument, Gideon Freudmann has brought the cello to a new realm. His latest album is a dreamy, cinematic tour-de-force!”
– The Boston Globe
“Freudmann sounds like nothing less than a cutting-edge, avant-garde musician, whose genre-bending exploits combine aspects of performance art, new-classical, psychedelia and comedy, a sort of cross between Kronos Quartet and Leo Kottke.” – Berkshire Eagle
“Gideon is sharp, witty, prolific, talented… A cross between Woody Allen, Frank Zappa, and a touch of Peter Schikele” – Maine Public Radio
“17 tracks of twisted, madcap songs, slightly along the lines of Syd Barrett or Robyn Hitchcock, if they had ever tripped out on cello, with a little Dan Hicks humor for sanity. The melodies were memorable, totally infectious, swirling with a psychedelic vertigo and an occasional Beatlesque moment.” – Dirty Linen
And some YouTube videos of Gideon and Annalisa at work:
He’s coming back for more!!!!!
Martyn Joseph will join us again for the third time here at Doverlaff for 2 performances on September 29 and 30. These will make a total of 5 times this Welsh genius singer/songwriter has trod the board of our tiny stage and we are simply wild about having him again. Truly, no one has ever left so much or their heart and soul on the floor of the Tiki Room than Martyn has. In each performance, he has given it everything he has. In Europe, Martyn plays to packed arenas but could not possibly be more committed in those performances than he is here at Doverlaff.
We love this performer. He is a man with great poetic gifts, amazing guitar chops and a vast and loving heart.
We suggest, as usual, $20 per seat donations for this show. We will provide our usual snacks and beverages will be available. To reserve your seats, send a check, made out to Dan Dover, with Martyn Joseph and the date you wish to attend (9-29 or 9-30) in the memo line. Send checks to us at 7326 SE Woodward St. PDX, 97206. We only cash checks the week of the show in case he or you have to cancel.
We know you will love this show. If you have seen Martyn before, you know it too. If not, come see what you have been missing.
Some blurbs from the press:
“Springsteen-indebted Americana, suspended folk chords glistening beneath troubadour tales, his lyrical eloquence still inspired almost 30 years on from his debut”
“One of acoustic music’s most original voices, and most forward looking of his generation of singer/songwriters”|
“A profound experience”
The Boston Globe
“Songs of social commentary as much as love, with a rootsy sensibility”
“Written with craft, performed with passion”
“He is one of our most intelligent writers. He gets better and better like the finest of wines”
Bob Harris – BBC Radio 2
“Britain`s best kept secret……a challenging songwriter and a compelling courageous live performer”
MoJo 4* review
From Martyn’s Bio:
Martyn Joseph 2015
Martyn Joseph is a powerful singer and songwriter gifted with the rare ability to speak to the soul with his expressive and poignant lyrics. With a career spanning 30 years, 32 albums, over a half a million record sales and thousands of live performances, the versatility of his music touches genres of folk, rock, soul, folk-funk and Americana, yet somehow all these labels cannot define the spirit of his music.
Compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews, he has created his own style and reputation as a mesmerising live performer and stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives. A unique talent driven by passion, social awareness and love for his trade, his music manages to empower and speak for the many. He’s a jaw dropping guitar player who has developed a unique percussive style, teamed up with a powerful show stopping voice, and has been called “The Welsh Springsteen”
Martyn was awarded Best Male Artist at the 2004 BBC Welsh Music Awards and in 2012 his song “There’s Always Maybe” won the best folk song category in the World Independent Music Awards. In addition to his 5 top 50 UK hits, the importance of his work has been recognised by programmes such as BBC 2’s prime time series on Singer/Songwriters. Social justice has an essential presence throughout his music, which has been recognised with various humanitarian awards and plaudits.
Concerned with making music that is relevant and vital to his audience, he engages with challenging narratives tackling the complexity of the human condition underpinned with a promise of hope. In his own words “Really what I do is to try and write songs that might step up and make some sense of a moment in time. A good song makes you feel like you’re not alone in the world.” There is a versatility to Martyn’s music that is hard to categorise. Many have tried, resulting in labels such as Folk, Rock, Soul, Folk Funk and Americana; all of which somehow miss the mark. But sometimes music doesn’t need a defining genre and with the ability to articulate a sense of the bigger picture, Martyn’s music and social commentary manage to empower and speak for many. His songs are pictures, and stories, and feelings all put to music and delivered by a master craftsman.
“Songs For The Coming Home”, his most recent self-penned studio album, is filled with snap shots and images from his personal journey. “At the heart of this record is the notion that we are always striving to return. Returning to a place of solace, understanding, compassion, a place of justice, mercy and peace. That despite the carnage around us we can still save the day.”
Upon the release of the album BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris said “Martyn is one of our most intelligent writers. He gets better and better.” Described as a cinematic journey through continents via his trademark ‘one take’, up close sound with stunning instrumentation, “Songs For The Coming Home” resonates with raw performance. Incorporating this element of live presentation into the recording process, preserves the spirit of this charismatic live solo performer.
In 2013 Martyn released a CD of Bruce Springsteen songs, to great public and critical acclaim, with the glowing endorsement of Dave Marsh, acclaimed American music critic and official Springsteen biographer.
2014 saw him take the spirit of his music onto a more practical footing with the launch of his “Let Yourself Trust”, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to make a small difference out of great love and commitment by challenging injustice wherever it’s found, educating via advocacy, campaigning for human rights, and raising issues that have been forgotten or ignored via fundraising initiatives, thus bringing about greater awareness for beautiful people in powerless situations
He has won the love of audiences from USA and Canada to Europe through an impressive number of live dates, and has previously toured with the likes of Art Garfunkel, Jools Holland, Ani DiFranco, Suzanne Vega, Mike and The Mechanics, Joan Armatrading, Celine Dion and Shirley Bassey. He is hailed as a raconteur weaving tales on topical concerns, as well as stories on the fragility of love, with a magical ability to reach out to his listeners through his passion and humour. Stunning reviews single him out as an unmissable solo performer whose music stays with you long after the show has ended.
One Step Up (Maryn is a major Bruce Springsteen Fan and covers him here)
As I said, we really love Martyn and are so excited to have this last minute opportunity.. The suggested donation will be $20. We will start the show at 7:30
Let us know,
Cheryl and Dan