He emerged onstage with his band-members, quietly and stoically, and silently picked up his guitar and began to play. No fanfare. No introduction. Because none was needed. Just the music, the harmonies, and the performance.
For those not in the know, James Vincent McMorrow is an exciting musician to watch these days. Recalling indie-folk gods such as Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, this bearded Irishman has both the chops and the voice to captivate audiences and music fans everywhere. His sparsely-bearded face recalls the folk musicians of the 60s more than the perfectly groomed musicians of today, and his music retains that originality as well.
Backed by a six-piece band including a guitarist, mandolin player, bassist, keyboard/synth player, and drummer, Mr. McMorrow’s set weaved between the full-band shimmer of true Appalachian folk and the quiet grandeur of his solo acoustic numbers; his piercing falsetto ringing throughout.
The performance was stellar: from the pitch-perfect harmonies, to the brilliant cover songs (including Steve Winwood’s Higher Love and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games) – McMorrow and his band performed at a caliber well beyond their years and experience.
I’ve included two tracks for you to download. One is the studio version of his cover of Higher Love, and the other is a terrible quality iPhone recording of Wicked Games from the show itself, courtesy of your blogger. Check them both out, and if he’s coming to a town near you, do yourself a favor and go to the show.
9/8 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
9/9 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
9/10 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
9/11 Montreal, QC @ Sala
9/13 Toronto, ON @ Elmo
9/15 Chicago, IL @ Hideout
9/16 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
9/17 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
9/20 Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
9/21 Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
9/23 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
9/24 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
9/25 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater