Sunday, November 22, 2015 ♦ 7:00 PM
4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000
Del Barber grew up in the Canadian Prairies, and the landscape is as much a part of him as the people he has met along the way. From the fertile Red River Valley to the pastures of the west, straight into the factory floors and slaughter houses of the city, Barber's music is born out of a love for his home, its people and their stories. Barber sings from the heart about his roots, telling tales from the road, and offering incredibly personal and sincere observations of the world around him. Barber has emerged as one of the next wave in this country's proud tradition of songwriting talent.
Royal Blue, the second album by East Nashville firebrand Lilly Hiatt, is about the majesty of melancholy-or, as she explains it, “accepting the sadder aspects of life and finding some peace in them.” A dance between pedal steel and synths, the album examines the vagaries of love and commitment but steadfastly refuses to romanticize any notion of romance. Singing in a barbed lilt full of deep worry and gritty determination in equal measure, she conveys emotions too finely shaded to be easily named, yet will be familiar to any listener who's had their heart broken-or has broken a heart. This is, in other words, not a well-behaved singer-songwriter album. Instead, it's feisty and rough-around-the-edges, full of humor and bite and attitude from a woman who proclaims, “I'd rather throw a punch than bat my eye.” Royal Blue hints at autobiography without sounding self-absorbed, as Lilly transforms a rough patch of life into smart, sturdy, sometimes even hilarious songs that don't sit squarely in any one genre. Instead, Royal Blue reaches out boldly and playfully into many different sounds and styles: Austin folk rock, Pacific Northwest indie, pre-Oasis Britpop, New York punk ca. 1977. There are '90s alt guitars and '00 indie synths, some twang and some Neko Case and Kim Deal.