Monday, February 2, 2009

CWMA Showcase @ The Woodshed

There are few things I love more in this life than a band who utilizes multiple drum sets/percussion instruments on stage while playing live. So, you can imagine that my heart skipped a beat at Saturday night’s Woodshed showcase (which featured Aye Aye, David Williams, and Band of Annuals) when Aye Aye opened the show, armed with tambourines, a free standing drum, and a few percussion instruments I couldn’t even identify.

Aye Aye features members of the Paper Cranes Collective, a group of wildly creative, brilliantly talented young musicians from Northern Utah who specialize in noise. Aye Aye’s set was melodic, bluesy, and had a strange, almost 60’s surf rock appeal. I was thoroughly captivated by their performance. I’ve never seen anyone kneel on the stage and play the tambourine as though offering one of five daily prayers in the direction of Mecca.

Next on the bill was David Williams. I was impressed by the powerful simplicity of his songs, and the gorgeous vocal harmonies that mesmerized the audience. I loved how the drummer—who meandered on stage near the end of Williams’s set—beamed with joy as he pounded out rhythms for the final upbeat songs. David Williams is a true crowd pleaser if ever there was one.

The Band of Annuals took the stage last, and delivered a smooth, stirring performance. Their sweet, ghostly, faintly twangy Americana lullabys hooked the crowd. The only time my attention wandered from the stage is when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that someone had etched “Love Thy Beer” in one of the Woodshed’s steamy windows. You don’t have to love thy beer to love Band of Annuals.

Saturday night’s Woodshed showcase was a bang up success. I’m constantly awed by the musical talent on my own backyard. (Jenny Poplar)

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