The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present
CANCELED: Purple Mountains
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
“Well I don’t really like talking to myself, but someone’s got to say it, hell…”
”You know this voice. An old friend has returned. It was some years back that you dropped the needle on the record and heard it say, “No, I don’t really wanna die...” Like so many lines you couldn’t possibly have guessed the finish to, it’s now among the flat natural-born good-timin’ faves that you sing along with in the jukebox inside your head. It’s loaded up there along with at least a couple dozen others from Silver Jews, whose classic run was made somehow finite in 2009, when the voice himself, David Berman, announced his retirement from music. Ten years have come and gone since then. Where the time goes, we do not know. What do they say about old songwriters? We don’t know that one either, okay? We’re not good with jokes – we’re just glad that there’s always more songs to be written and sung. That’s what raised up Purple Mountains for all of us, after all.
Yes, Purple Mountains is the new nom-de-rock of David Berman. Purple Mountains is also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums – full of double-jointed wit and wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of hand-crafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs are produced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance. And then…
What is 10 years? What are 50? How is everything anything in the eventual blink of eternity? The songs of Purple Moun-tains are a potent brew, stitched together from lifetimes, knitting the drift of the years with the tightest lyric construction Berman’s ever attempted. Honesty is archly in the air, but lines of incredible bleakness somehow give way to playful distraction and the hiding of surprises for close listeners. Even still, as the songwriter once wrote, “every single thought is like a punch in the face.” It won’t take long after slapping the record on the platter for you to hear that this is one of THOSE albums. There’s breakup records. There’s apocalypse records. Then there’s Purple Mountains.
The portrait is David Berman’s most to-the-bone yet, very frankly confessing a near-total collapse from the first moment, then delving into the layers of nuance with twin lazers of personal laceration and professional remove. This etches a picture that cries to be understood in the misbegotten country that made everything great about Purple Mountains. America’s fate is that of its treasured icons: the cowboy, the outlaw, the card sharp and the riverboat gambler, who all face simple resignation in the end. There are no perfect crimes. Berman’s poet-thief of so many precious moments, now stripped and chastened, recalls his latest lowest moments in perfect detail, hovering ghostly above the tumescent production sound as it echoes with tragic majesty and the sound-fragments of former glory, evoking the defeated-king era of late Elvis, southern-fried and sassy still on his countrypolitan way down, and somehow still solid-gold at the bottom.
Berman’s songwriter’s bone’s never been laid more bare, either – if redemption doesn’t come on the lyric sheet, the act of putting these songs into singing, dancing form allows them their finest end – to provide infotainment for others, embodying moments of life and truth via music that elevates with disarming warmth and a reassuring commonality, even as David himself stands outside the communal campfires.
Where are you tonight, America? The things that used to be have slipped away into the darkness without you knowing it, and your children are wandering in a blasted landscape, with only Purple Mountains left to comfort them, and David Berman’s shattered fables for company.
DIANE CLUCK is a singer-songwriter of intuitive folk music. She tours the US, UK and Europe, employing singing as a healing, textural experience in which audiences may wander, ponder, or simply be. Her vocal style has been noted for its clipped, glottal beauty, and described by NPR as “an unlikely mix of Aaron Neville, the Baka people, and Joni Mitchell…unaffected yet unusual”. She accompanies herself on various instruments including guitar, piano, harmonium, zither, and a copper pipe instrument she built by hand. With an unusual finger-picking style producing harp-like tones, Time Out New York cited her as a “brilliant idiosyncratic guitarist”.
Diane contributed to New York’s burgeoning Antifolk scene in the early 2000s. Since then, singer-songwriters Laura Marling, Florence Welch (of Florence And The Machine), and Sharon Van Etten have cited Diane’s work as influential.
Diane released her seventh album, Boneset, through Important Records in 2014. A new album, Common Wealth, is in the works for 2019.
Since 2017 Diane has been leading singing and songwriting workshops across the US, UK and Canada. At home in Virginia, Diane teaches at The Front Porch, Charlottesville’s roots music school, and was Songwriting Instructor for the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop in 2018.
"An unlikely mix of Aaron Neville, the Baka people, and Joni Mitchell, Cluck’s singing is unaffected yet unusual.” -NPR
“Watching Cluck perform jams the senses. It’s almost easier to imagine some tiny spirit in her chest is controlling the action, turning a pitch wheel with one hand and a tone knob with the other.” -NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert
“Diane Cluck is a virtuosic talent with an emotionality that feels at once ancient and alien. Her mastery of her voice as an ecstatic instrument is so compelling.” -Anohni
“Bell-clear and hotly austere, her lithe, dynamic voice hasn’t much kin. Categorizing her as folk is simplistic…(Cluck) emanates something humble but mythic. Appalachia or ancient Athens? Both hum and lilt in the unpretentious drama of her airy songs.” -Time Out New York
“Refreshing, startling, and also engaging, Diane Cluck is an artist willing to explore the frontiers of song, and occasionally report back to us what she discovers there. Diane uses the usual songwriter tools of words and music, and voice and guitar, but somehow her songs are very unusual.” -WNYC’S Spinning on Air
“I grew up on 60s music, but my first contemporary music love was Diane Cluck.” -Laura Marling
“She is likely one of the most refined and elegant songwriters in all of neo-folkdom. A brilliant idiosyncratic guitarist, a witty and wise lyricist, an imaginative melody writer with a powerful voice; her dark and introspective tunes are utterly captivating. Watch her spellbind the room.” -Village Voice
“She takes the voice to the brink of a new and beautiful language.” -Chris Taylor (of Grizzly Bear)
“Diane Cluck exists in a world all her own. Her songs float around our heads and land somewhere in between folklore and daydream. The songs are raw and primitive.” -Daytrotter
The Grey Eagle
Thu, November 21
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Sat, November 23
Tue, November 26
Fri, November 29