Southern Gothic is one of my favorite literary genres. I’d argue that certain musicians fit into this genre as well, Shakey Graves among them. Never mind his playfully macabre alias, the themes of his songs touch on death and decay, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, execution by electric chair, and the way ex-lovers haunt one another. All this, though, is presented with good humor and a (wholesomely) wicked Texas grin, side-by-side with themes of shirking the predictable life and embracing the shiftless, devil-may-care habits of a tramp. Shakey’s musical style is tricky to pin down. Clearly influenced by bluegrass, hobo folk, blues, rock, and country, it might be safest to simply say, “Americana.”
Calexico and Iron & Wine are coming to Ogden on Wednesday, August 21st to play at the Twilight Series at Ogden Amphitheater with special guest Orville Peck. C
Calexico and Iron & Wine just recently released Years to Burn, their first full–length album together. They first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns, and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until last year that their schedules aligned.
This will be Utah Concert Review’s first time seeing Calexico in concert. And we haven’t seen Iron & Wine since 2013 at In the Venue! We could not be more excited to be covering this show. To purchase tickets go to 24tix.com
O.A.R. is still killing it like it’s 1996. That’s when the rock band originally formed but you wouldn’t be able to tell, because the band is still so alive and filled with so much energy. You can see how happy they are to play, almost as if it’s their first big show, which is definitely not the case. Last Friday, Red Butte Garden was packed with fans of all ages, eager to enjoy a nice night and a good show. It definitely was a great show!
When students return to school in a few short weeks, and they’re asked by fellow classmates for some highlights from their summer break, I’m confident that this past Thursday’s SLC Twilight with Young the Giant, The Aces and Sego will be mentioned by every student who attended the Gallivan Center on August 1. This show had everything. Good weather, a great headliner, and two support acts with local roots and large followings of their own. This has been the strongest lineup top to bottom at Twilight this summer. This is one of those shows when you see it announced you think “Oh yeah, this is going to be good!”. And you just hope that it lives up to the expectation. I have to say that it absolutely did.
So I don’t know if you guys have heard or not but Jason Aldean is really really big. Like, sold-out concerts all over the country big. Don’t get me wrong, I knew he was a big-time country star. I guess I just didn’t realize how big. I have a bit of a confession to make. Leading up to this concert I didn’t know any Jason Aldean songs. How is that possible? I like country music, and I’ve seen Jason Aldean on awards shows and on Saturday Night Live, but sometimes even the biggest stars slip through the cracks. Now, why would you want to read a review from someone who didn’t even know one song going into the concert at USANA Amphitheater last Saturday night? Well for one, if you weren’t there, I’m going to tell you all about it. And if you were there, you’ll want to continue reading to relive just how epic that evening was!
When I saw the 2019 Deer Valley Music Festival Utah Symphony summer lineup, one of the first names that stuck out was Renée Elise Goldsberry. Renée has had an extensive career on Broadway, but the reason she is headlining this concert is due to her originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the smash-hit musical, Hamilton. Ever heard of it? Not only did she originate that role, but she won a Drama Desk, Grammy and Tony Award for her performance. So I knew when her name was announced, I knew that I had to be at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater to see this performance. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this.
Norah Jones gave us the smoky torch songs of the new millennium. Though often understated, her work has the polished precision of a trained musician. It’s no surprise that she has a degree in jazz piano; hers is not a sloppy talent. Her music wafts through Soul, Folk, and even dips into Blues and Country, but it always returns to her roots in Jazz. Three songs in, I could feel the audience’s collective blood pressure lowering. Dreamy lyrics about missed rendezvous and wandering off into the moonlight coupled with seamless vamping melted, then evaporated, my spine. So long as Norah and her crew were playing, there were no cares in the world.
It’s always good to see a jam-packed USANA Amphitheater. It means that summer has arrived and good times concerts have moved to our great outdoor venues. I don’t know if I’ve seen USANA this packed since Def Leppard played here last. There was a buzz in the air as Goo Goo Dolls and Train fans made their way through the turnstiles.