Manic Productions Presents:
The Deep Dark Woods
The Backyard Committee, Them Damn Hamiltons
295 Treadwell St.
Hamden, CT, 06514
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
The Deep Dark Woods
Chills climb spines when sound is given room to unfurl. The Deep Dark Woods' unflinching pursuit of steadiness between decadence and minimalism is guided at every turn by their intuitive ability to balance grit, clarity, drive and restraint with a sure focus on experimentation.
Winter Hours (2009), caught critics' ears across the country. The album, a solemn ode to darker themes of seclusion and detachment, could yet warm even the bottomless, frozen nights of hometown Saskatoon, SK. With Winter Hours, The Deep Dark Woods won Best Roots Group at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards, and Ensemble of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The band also had the runaway winner in CBC's Great Canadian Songquest with "Charlie's (Is Coming Down)", a song about Good Time Charlie's in Regina.
The Deep Dark Woods frame their music with subtle orchestration; songs are trimmed with minimal embellishments of banjo, piano, with subtle Mellotron flutters. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Lucas Goetz's layers heartbreaking arches of pedal steel under the clarity and warmth of Ryan Boldt's voice. Newest member, organ-player Geoff Hilhorst furnishes the songs' edges with slurred polyphonies, while surefooted, danceable bass lines and rich second vocals belong to Chris Mason. Burke Barlow's clarion guitar tone and lead lines are focused and impeccable.
Their new album, The Place I Left Behind, finds continuity in themes of temporal and geographic alienation, neglected inward trails, and the scars of abandoned intimacies. The album opens with a song about Saskatoon's rougher edges. "West Side Street" is a study in contrasts – finespun vocals and a gently rolling melody cushion the gloomy story. "The Place I Left Behind" is loosely based on an old folk standard. Gorgeously morose, the title track confirms that The Deep Dark Woods capture lonesome yearning at its loveliest. "Sugar Mama" is a sweet and lively invitation to tap toes and shake off the blues; a seeming coming-of-age story is treated with playful banjo and an airy gait.
A rainstorm over the desert of modern music, The Place I Left Behind offers murder ballads alongside scrappy rockers, lovesick hymnals and slow-dance waltzes. The album illuminates folk traditions without stripping the shadows of roots music history - The Deep Dark Woods wake the ghosts of Appalachia with their prairie gothic pyre-side tales. The Place I Left Behind echoes with traces of time and space that are never fully abandoned or forgotten.
The Backyard Committee
The Backyard Committee is a New Haven collective of musicians that takes the best parts of both classic jam band music and '90s indie rock and blends them together, providing an updated take on jammy musical exploration (without the stigma). The melodic songs are equally inspired by Dylan, Van Morrison and the Dead as they are by Pavement, Neutral Milk
Hotel and Guided by Voices. At a good BYC show, you'll hear lots of mistakes. If you're not hearing mistakes, then they're not going for it all-out. Imperfections are part of the beauty of it all, and in a sonic landscape dominated by digital editing, auto-tune and slick studio perfection, the occasional sour note is suddenly exciting and refreshing. It's raw, rootsy music, but seen through a lens that's unique to 2013. The band's debut self-titled album is available for free on the band's website, and a follow up is slated for the late spring.
Them Damn Hamiltons
Newcomers to the Americana nu-folk movement, Them Damn Hamiltons blaze their own trail, writing and performing their own personal brand of dark, independent New England folk music, with a touch of gypsy swagger and sea chantey stomp. Drawing from veterans of the Connecticut music scene, Them Damn Hamiltons features Dan Hamilton (guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals), Jeff Chen (cello, mandolin, and keys), Matthew Futoma (percussion), Mik Walker (bass) and Parker Hu (lead vocals, banjo and guitar).
This quintet transports their listeners with a combination of soaring melodic lines, haunting hooks, and musical virtuosity. Their original songs explore themes of devilry, loss, and damnation. Whether racing along at a breakneck shuffle or underscoring a sorrowful lament, the darkly familiar yet unique performances of Them Damn Hamiltons will resonate with any audience.