Tuesday, November 8, 2005
7:00 PM Prompt
Four excellent young singer/songwriters in a songswap format. In the words of Anais Mitchell, "the tin pan caravan is robert blake, louis ledford, rachel ries, and myself. the caravan is a transcontinental, songwriting, guitar-pickinŐ vehicle of hallelujah, goddamn! navigating the harsh terrain of contemporary american folk music. catch us if you can."
Dan Keen, Assistant Vice President of the ASCAP Membership Group says: "The Tin Pan Caravan is proof to me that good forces exist in the universe. I dropped by the stage to check out a song or two and ended up hanging out with them until dawn the next morning. I was captured first by the voices and the vibe, then the songs and laughter, then the singer/songwriters as people. Nights like that are the reason I got into the music business."
Anais Mitchell from Middlebury Vermont has quickly become one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I've had her open two shows and do a split-bill in the last 18 months. Now she returns with three friends for a round-robin show.
Rachel Ries grew up in a Mennonite family in South Dakota, is based in Chicago, and has a stunning voice and a terrific sense of melody. From her website: "Rachel is classically trained in voice, piano, violin and viola but her music has long since evolved into her own, less classifiable, sound. A bit country, a bit lullaby, and maybe, just maybe, a good bit siren song. With an adventurous ear for melody and a voice flexible enough to accomplish it, she delivers sweet and often sad, intelligent songs. She is self-taught on the guitar and has a weakness for messing about with other, sometimes obtrusive, instruments such as the accordion, pedal steel and old, clunky organs."
Louis Ledford is from Richmond Virginia, soaked up the rural culture and music of Western North Carolina and Southern Virginia as a child, and cites Raymond Carver, Charles Bukowski, John Fante and William Faulkner as influences. "I see myself as a storyteller. My songs are like very short stories."
Robert Blake, from Bellingham Washington, has a rather unique singing style that seems to take people some time to get used to. There's a bit of Greg Brown, a bit of Bob Dylan, some Billy Bragg, and maybe some Clancy Brothers in the stew.