Once again Bluesdoodles was not disappointed with the service via The Convent website – a couple of clicks, payment made and the link to access the show was in my inbox.
Now for the important bit; was the show good?, did listening at home feel like a show reflecting the power of live music and the energy that The Graham’s always exude? – Yes! It is different but with a glass of wine and the discipline of silence this was the next best thing to live music.
Tonight as a trio The Grahams, Alyssa and Doug joined by percussionist Mike Meadow. They now based in Nashville and reflected in the sound created. Originally Doug and Alyssa were from New York and Mike is from Texas, these early influences form an integral bedrock to the musics. The music was Americana, a sound that is difficult to capture in a few words, it is an artful blending of all the roots of American music, African, British folk and native American swirling the sounds and textures add a generous pitch of American can do and country attitude that is the magic of Americana.
This was a show that revolved around three sonic sounds the crystal smooth tones of Alyssa’s vocals, the mid tones of Doug’s guitar, whether slide or picked and the National had a beautiful depth of tone and the bass provided by a snare and array of percussive sounds from Mike creating a tumbling musical movement that shaped itself around the strong lyrics the very purpose for the musical backdrop. Every song had a story, meaning reflecting the travels and adventures that often occurred on the extensive rail journeys around USA. As The Grahams said “There is a special connection between American folk music and the railroad that has no parallel elsewhere in the world. Rail lines stitch together the sprawling fabric of American song. As writers of Americana music, our goal is to draw on the deep, recurring sources of American folk culture, giving them new shape.” Tonight was an opportunity to hear a selection of songs from their current album Glory Bound they have been involved in a documentary Rattle the Hocks (released digitally) filmed on the move and in venues from Sun Studio to Amtrak’s famed City of New Orleans train, produced and directed by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, which chronicles their train-bound excursions and the influence of train travel on American roots music.
We were informed about Southern biscuits before hearing a absorbing live version of the suitably titled number Biscuits as well as Blow Wind Blow and Lay Me Down. The tonal tapestry changed with slower numbers more reflective and those that conjured up a barn and a line dance full of energy and the beat to get your body on the move. The Grahams have a style that is full of warmth and a generosity of spirit that ensured the audience were happy to join in making it music in the round.
The Grahams in The Convent definitely entertained,delighting the crowd with their contemporary Americana sound that is without doubt infectious music that is Glory Bound. Read what we said about the album HERE
The Grahams – UK & Ireland Tour – November 2015 still a chance to catch them live…
Wednesday 11th – The Musician, Leicester
Thursday 12th – The Met (Studio), Bury
Friday 13th – Private House Party
Saturday 14th – The Con Club, Lewis
Tuesday 17th – Levis Corner House, Balleyhob, Co. Cork
Wednesday 18th – Dolan’s, Limerick
Thursday 19th – Monroe’s Live, Galway
Friday 20th – The Errigle Inn, Belfast
Saturday 21st Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Ireland