One of the coolest things we hear a lot from audience members at the Loveless Barn is that often their favorite artist of the night – the one they bought the CD from – is one they’d not ever heard of when they arrived. In four or five songs, some of our emerging bands can change your day and point you in a new direction. And when we return from our two-week break to launch the mighty Fall 2013 Season with our quarterly fund-raiser show for The Nature Conservancy, there are likely to be such discoveries. We’ll be closing the night with a return visit from one of Nashville’s biggest breakout bands of the past year, while the rest of the show will feature four first-timers, each on an upward arc as they win over new fans and friends. It’s a celebration of revelation.
By now we sure hope you’re hip to Alanna Royale, which is the she and the them that became overnight sensations on the Music City club scene in 2012. They won a chance to play Bonnaroo, where they impressed with thier frenzied, hot and rhythmic show. Alanna herself has charisma that could light up a town. Her man Jared is the slick guitar player on stage, but also a savvy musical director and co-writer of AR’s delectable songs. I offered some detail about the band’s origins when they last played our show, but since then they’ve only thrived, playing other great festivals and joining us in Chattanooga for Scenic City Roots where they blew us away again, especially with their summertime barn-burner “Tennessee Heat.”
Alanna isn’t the only brassy broad playing the Loveless next Wednesday. Wait til you meet Davina Sowers and her band The Vagabonds. Hailing from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, this quartet plus Davina at the piano sounds like they’ve woodsheded in New Orleans, Harlem and Chicago’s South Side, then brought that grit and soul to the cabaret setting. Davina is a fabulous songwriter with an emotive voice, and her very gestures and style at the keyboard seem to tell their own story. As a guitar player, I’m also impressed that this full sounding band (two horns, rhythm section and Davina’s piano) nails it without a guitar player.
The Shook Twins are true to their name, as Katelyn and Laurie Shook once shared a common zygote, while today they share a life as a travelling band. Sparkly and a little quirky, they offer a lovely vocal blend and the Earthy vibes of their Portland, OR home base. Their local press loves them, and they perform with a mysterious gigantic egg, something that certainly gives me more than a few questions to throw at them in the chat room.
Bluegrass band Wood & Wire comes to us as a direct result of the big World of Bluegrass convention a week or two ago in Raleigh, NC. Our booking secret agents saw this Austin, TX quartet playing and simply had to get to know them. We discovered a band that’s about three years old and that’s already landed great opportunities like touring with Yonder Mountain String Band and playing all the top clubs in the world’s capital of live music. With a new album and a smart, up-to-date take on the bluegrass tradition, we feel like we’re getting in on the ground floor of a big deal here with Wood & Wire playing our stage this week.
We’ll also hear from Stephen Sebastian, a Nashville songwriter bandleader who slots right into the Americana vein of Buddy Miller, Chris Knight, Scott Miller etc. Country influence is there but mingled with everything from power pop to soul to Tom Waits-ish folk rock. Sebastian hasn’t left much of an internet trail so far, just a string of live shows that seem to be propelling him and his trio to ever-better venues.
So if somebody tells you Revelations is a book in the Bible that fortells the end of the world, you tell ‘em no, revelations are the ah-ha moments and musical epiphanies that make life worth living. We hope you have a few on Wednesday and all season long.