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 an improvisational roots rock band from New Haven, Connecticut. They specialize in ever-evolving song interpretations and putting on one-of-a-kind, spontaneous performances. Particularly in and around New England where they live.
Lucidmike writes the songs, and his friends play ‘em. Each member is encouraged to add his or her own personal voice and style, the only condition being that they remain fully engaged at all times.
Digital tools like auto-tune, click tracks and samples are commonly used to make music flawless these days, but the band tends to like it better when they leave all the mistakes in. For this particular project, the human element is the most important. And if someone makes a mistake… hey, at least they were reaching for something.
The project retains the spirit of exploration established by classic acts like the Dead, Bob Dylan and Neil Young but it’s equally inspired by bands like Guided by Voices, Pavement and Neutral Milk Hotel — it’s a back-to-basics sound, but not a throwback.
The improvisational nature of the band makes it a comfy fit for festivals, extended two-set club shows or secret psychedelic parties in the woods. Band members and the audience alike are invited to become completely immersed in the experience… in order to get the most out of it. To dance. Or just sway. And sing along. And maybe come on stage and play a song. Tapers are encouraged to record at all shows.
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.