Spring springs eternal, and it was renewing to return to the Factory with the recent freeze behind us and new sprouts sprouting for some of our kind of living roots. It was a night that left some of our regulars buzzing with the sweet feeling of trust and vindication. I mean they may not have known most of the artists on the bill, but they gave of themselves and met these artists halfway and found charm, grit and beauty over two and a half efficient hours.
The youthful lead singer of Silences, whose name looks like Conchur but is pronounced like Connor White struck me with an apple-cheeked resemblance to a young John Lennon. Not from Liverpool but from Armagh Northern Ireland, he led this clean and rushing quintet through a set that floated and pulsed.
The duo Fox & Bones exuded life and joy off stage and on as they sang of and sort of inhabited the roles they’d written as their own musical alter egos. Scott Gilmore played authoritative fingerstyle guitar and harmonized sweetly with Sarah Vitort’s burnished alto. Opener “Warm” as a love song of the open road. They brought drama to the bank robbery song “Heist” and sang of anchors in a crazy world on “Gravity.”
There is no one sound that equals Americana, but Beth Bombara’s full-bodied Midwestern country rock comes as close as anything could. Bracing beats and hearty guitars supported excellent songs that were touched with twang. On the spookier “Map And No Direction,” Meredith Brownski added her fiddle to the four piece band for a slow dance waltz. Even the rockers like “Promised Land” had patience and energy always in reserve.
I got to speak at length with Guy Davis in the afternoon and he was just full of soul and humanity and enthusiasm. But even his bright personality was a hard match for harmonica man Fabrizio Poggi, who whooped and dug into his arsenal of harps on material largely drawn from the repertoire of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. This made a high-energy acoustic pairing to close the night.