Who: Horse Feathers w/ Frank Fairfield
What: Kill rock stars recording artist from Portland, OR on tour to promote their latest album “Cynic’s New Year” with very special guest L.A. based performer Frank Fairfield.
When: 7:30pm doors on Saturday December 8th
Where: High Mayhem Emerging Arts -2811 Siler Ln.
Advance tickets available at: Ticketssantafe.org
This show is being presented by High Mayhem Emerging Arts in Conjunction with T-Cubed Productions
Cynic’s New Year” professes an ending but welcomes Horse Feathers’ fans with the promise of something new. To be sure, old friends return. Wrapped around the warmth of Justin Ringle’s vocals and sparkling guitar, fiddles dance in the spaces between, above the smoky banjo and woven through the foundation of the lower strings. The lyrics traverse familiar themes from natural disaster to the deeply personal, each through Justin Ringle’s uniquely American linguistic lens. New vistas, new stories, are explored with deep insight and fresh intimacy, always with an abiding respect and affection. The universe rises to threaten, inspire and sometimes punish, but always to teach a valuable lesson. Souls, lost and found, embark on thoughtful emotional journeys.
The single, “Fit against the Country”, renders a nation where working men and women shoulder their careworn lives with neither apology nor surrender. These are words that need to be held close, owing their poignance as much to the savor of their pure sound as to their meaning. “Where I’ll Be”, another single from this brilliant collection, has an infectious rhythmic cadence that marks it as one of the great train songs, and a compelling sentiment that belies the gray landscape it travels.
Justin’s melodic wizardry transcends without discarding the group’s post-folk harmonic vernacular. The skillful instrumental arrangements remain true to their acoustic roots but bring some surprising new voices to the circle. Horn, woodwind and brass appear and fade, lending broader timbral texture to the sonic canvas. There is a light hand on the reins of this music. By turns sweet or playful, it can unexpectedly rise to a swelling muscularity that never pushes, but steadfastly lifts the spirit.
Again joining Justin is instrumental coconspirator, Nathan Crockett, accompanied by a gathering of gifted Northwest musicians including Dustin Dybvig, Victor Nash, Justin Power, Catherine Odell, Jedadiah Bernards, Cory Goldman, Jenn Rawling, Adam Thompson, Scott Magee, Brandon Johnson, and sound engineer Skyler Norwood.
“Cynics New Year” is anything but cynical, but does not fail to deliver something beautiful and new. It navigates a thoughtful, thought-provoking expedition from the wide sky and rolling ocean to the most private corners of the human heart. I hope this “Year” is only one of many, many more to come.
Frank Fairfield is a young man and old time folk musician who plays fiddle, guitar and banjo while singing and hollering. An unbelievable word of mouth sensation who channels the spirit of another era in his spellbinding live shows.
From California, USA, Frank sings tunes he has worked hard to collect from around the world as well as his own well-dusted ditties. His eclectic sets feature soaring hillbilly ballads, arcane rambling songs and murder ballads delivered in a reedy tenor with that irresistible American Primitive quality. Still in his twenties but steeped in the pre-War Americana of Mississippi John Hurt and Dock Boggs, he cut his teeth as a street performer in LA and has the raw intensity and quick-fingered technique to make your hairs stand on end. Alternating between banjo, fiddle and guitar, he performs a different set of traditional songs and originals each night, drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of the American folk canon.
Fleet Foxes handpicked him to open for them on their 2008 US tour and since then he has found fans elsewhere in Ry Cooder, CW Stoneking, Charlie Parr and Grammy winning producer Chris King (Charley Patton, ‘People Take Warning’ box set). He has released two albums on Tompkins Square (home of Michael Chapman and James Blackshaw), a collection of traditionals on 2009′s eponymous album, followed by Out On The Open West (2010), featuring his own originals and a cast of guest musicians. Both picked up rave reviews across the board. An ardent 78 rpm collector, he has also compiled a selection of rare and unheralded gramophone recordings from around the world entitled Unheard Ofs & Forgotten Abouts on his own Pawnimprint.
“A young Californian who sings and plays as someone who’s crawled out of the Virginia mountains carrying familiar songs that in his hands sound forgotten: broken lines, a dissonant drone, the fiddle or the banjo all percussion, every rising moment louder than the one before it.” – Greil Marcus
“One of America’s best conduits of antiquity” – Pitchfork