Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Concert news:: Gypsophilia & Jerry Leger

As always, it seems that good artists flood Halifax’s venues in waves. We can go a few weeks with nothing but local acts (albeit, terrific local acts) and all of a sudden, three or four really great bands (well, that’s what my iPOD playlist seems to think) roll in at once. Case in point? This week. I won't tread on Nadeau's week-end show posts, but two shows really grabbed my attention and I wanted to give them an extra bit of shine.

Gypsophilia is prepping to release their new record, Sa-ba-da-OW! and even though they still play a mixture of klezmer and French jazz, the new record is much more diverse collection of sounds. Their songs are still playful, as they balance tension, drama and whimsy nicely, but for some reason Sa-ba-da-OW! seems to have a stronger heartbeat and a more enriched soul.

Over the course of 11 songs they revisit traditional and familiar sounds (Jewish Dance Party and Legs Bounce for example), but it's the experiments with more soulful grooves (like the out of nowhere reggae tinged treat, You Make Time or the funk filled Sa-ba-da-OW!), percussion and a willingness to stretch the borders and boundaries of timeless influences that makes this record work.

But no matter how great a job Charles Austin did helping the band fine tune their sound, anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of seeing the band live knows that 11 quick hitting songs on record does NOT equal the pure joy of seeing the songs come to life when the adrenaline and alcohol start running through the room. Fans dress up and almost instantly, a swing dance party starts and instead of swimming through a sea of arm-crossed, pasty faced, white dudes peering at a band with apathy, you groove amongst a breathing mass of smiles that dances until the last note is played. For a few hours, people forget about looking cool and let a true love of music take over.

June 19th and 20th - Sa-ba-da-OW! CD release:
Fred (Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm)

Not to be outdone, Toronto folker Jerry Leger is playing two shows this week. I loved his last record – You Me and the Horse (review) - and am thrilled he's back in the 'Fax (ed: yes, we paid Josh Martinez the requisite dollar for trademark enfrigement). Obviously he’s a big Dylan fan, but more importantly he reminds me of Tom Brosseau.

Even at the tender age of 23, Leger is an old soul and a folk singer destined for a career that spans albums and decades. With recent stops of the Q and support from Ron Sexsmith, I’m not sure how long he will be playing small venues with smaller price tags attached to the ticket. So, take my advice and get out for a hump day treat.

Wednesday June 17th
The Seahorse Tavern - "bluegrass/roots night" w/ Moonshine Ramblers, Smokin' Contra Band

Thursday June 18th
The Company House w/ Al Tuck!

MP3:: Gypsophilia - Agricola and Sarah

MP3:: Jerry Leger - Looking for a Friend

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Posted at 6:51 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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