Monday, February 22, 2016

River Street Anthology - Kalamazoo Edition (The Songs)

I've been posting quite a bit about my visit to the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo last January. I was essentially a fly on the wall for a special day-long recording session produced by singer/songwriter Matt Jones, as he coordinated dozens of musicians, several bands, and various songwriters upon the chapel's altar to record a couple of songs for his River Street Anthology.

If you've been following this blog, or if you read the Entertainment Section Cover Story via the Detroit Free Press, then you already know most of the story.

But there's MORE...

photo by Andraya Croft 

Below, I have the bands and song titles of five songs that were recorded in the chapel during the RSA session. I encourage you to visit THIS PAGE (for the FREEP feature,) where you can stream these five performances, live, as they happened, on that day...

Northern Fires – “Space That We Made”
This song was one of the particularly powerful moments from the Church, where time seemed to stop and everyone in the room realized they’d been holding in a sigh. Kalamazoo duo Northern Fires (guitarist/singer Noah Nigg and singer Laurie Laing) capture that ineffable alleviation of the soul typically derived from a good cry, but their signature folk style is anything but melancholic, it’s just speaking to this collective chord of human emotion, how we’re all seeking  and hoping for love and an overarching amity, wherever we are…

Loose Teeth – “Doppler Shift”
Gregory McIntosh, the lead singer/songwriter of this Ypsilanti-based quartet, was actually the first person to be recorded for the River Street Anthology, more than a year ago. Loose Teeth thrives in the understated ballads of gothic-country and indie-folk, with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and resplendent harmonies. The group features Jones on drums, with Tom McCartan on bass and Mary Fraser on keys.

Megan Dooley – “Seven Below”
A tattoo on Dooley’s left shoulder reads: “Made In Kalamazoo;” that’s also the title of her latest album, which we recommend you check out a.s.a.p. Dooley’s voice can go from smooth silk purr to a soulful, gritty growl with a sinuous and melodic swing, strumming a banjulele to bring in flavors of rootsy blues, New Orleans jazz and charming, pitch-perfect whistles through the buoyant bridges. 

Go Rounds – “Pet Cemetery (La La La)”
The Go Rounds blend twangy Americana with a soul-dashed space-rock. Singer Graham Parsons hit some pretty impressive falsettos but he belts a pretty hearty midrange on this one, experimenting with a playful water-splashed effect over his vocals. Adam Danis (drums), Drew Tyner (bass) and Mike Savina (lead guitar), find a way to make vigorous indie-rock tremble into a charismatic danceability. 

DC - "America The Beautiful"
DC is a spoken word artist and teacher based in Kalamazoo, who has been writing and performing for several years. On this breathtaking performance, she starts out utilizing her splendid singing voice to serenade us with a beatific ballad, before switching gears into her spoken word poetry, at a fierce and measured cadence, that shines the light toward the uglier truths that go unacknowledged in that song; disconcerting, hard truths, delivered with an aim toward compassionate enlightenment, rather than incitement.  

No comments: