Ezra Furman, Edward Burch
107 W. Cook St., Ste G
Springfield, IL, 62704
Americans have an undeniable and insatiable appetite for voyeurism. Readily feeding them hearty portions is front-man Ezra Furman, who makes no qualms about peddling the deeply personal to the public and draws no drapes between himself and an audience thanks to his pulsating, confessional songwriting style. Through his eponymous Chicago-based quartet, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, Furman employs the same open-chest honesty that drew ire for Ginsberg's Howl and spawned speculation of Cohen's Chelsea Hotel as he pines for his Wild Rosemarie and recounts bouts of transience during the making of the band's upcoming third studio LP, Mysterious Power.
With lyrics featuring the fittingly dualistic motif of blood – representing both the humor d'amour and the stomach-turning stains of tragedy – Furman's music madly swings between wide-eyed sentimentality and brutally truthful accounts of life's grotesqueries. Forging ahead with Furman's brazenly rust-tinged croons, the band solders rollicking rockabilly rhythm and love-struck doo-wop sensibility with punk-rock ferocity and immediacy. In a musical alloy as unlikely as it is engaging, Furman finds release for bleeding-heart sensitivity and bloody-knuckled brawls of conscience as he "declares open warfare on jadedness, cynicism and irony." (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune)
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons are putting forth their tautest album to date with Mysterious Power, as produced by Doug Boehm (French Kicks, Starsailor). There is an impressive range of styles and sounds in this newest set of songs, but there is also a palpable cohesiveness that can in part be attributed to the full incorporation of guitarist Andrew Langer. A veteran of the Chicago-area outfit The Redwalls, Langer was used only in guest spots on the band's second album; however, his being woven into the fabric of Mysterious Power, along with the eruptive energy of Adam Abrutyn's drumbeats and the volatile McCartney-wails of Job Mukkada's harmonies, lends a complementary sonic counterweight to Furman's lyrics that drives the music forward.
Edward Burch (born June 9, 1968 in Centreville, Illinois) is an American musician and journalist. As a guitarist, he is a founding member of alternative country band The Kennett Brothers and, as a suitcase player, of the quasi-skiffle combo The Viper and His Famous Orchestra. He has been a longtime collaborator of former Titanic Love Affair and Wilco multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett. He was a regular contributor to such advocacy journalism outlets as Clamor and Pamphlet, as well as "Harp" and "No Depression" magazines, and Wikipedia.
For over thirty years Tom Irwin has been taking life experiences, turning them into songs, and giving those songs life through performances and recordings. The 51 year-old singer-songwriter opened for Willie Nelson & Family at the 2001 Illinois State Fair Grandstand and has performed with many other popular artists. Readers of Illinois Times voted him Best of Springfield for musician (2007), solo musician (2004), male musician (2002), male vocalist (2001), and folk band (1994 & 1999).
Irwin works around 200 dates a year in diverse venues and various areas. He has released ten full-length recordings of original songs selling thousands of copies of his music. Carry Me Home, his most recent recording, released in October of 2007 on Clyded Records was produced by Gary Gordon with an all acoustic lineup of mandolin, dobro, fiddle, and standup bass. The host of Songwriters Circle, a weekly gathering of central Illinois tunesmiths, for over 10 years, Irwin also has performed nearly every Sunday for over 15 years at the Brewhaus in downtown Springfield, Illinois.
His music has been described as "a cross between Buddy Holly and Frank Zappa" by Gajoob magazine, "brilliant and lasting" by the Tucson Weekly, "enduring" by the State Journal-Register, "updated John Prine," by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and "good enough to smoke" by Supe du Jour of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
You might laugh and cry, chuckle and squirm, tap your foot and nod your head, but you won't ignore or walk away untouched by this talented teller of stories through words and music.
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