January 17, 2010
THE LONESOME ACE STRINGBAND and STRIPMALL BALLADS
Alright. We have a real good line up, though a strange line up, and maybe a little bit of an unknown line up. But these unknowns are totally known unknowns. So here are the details about The Lonesome Ace Stringband and Stripmall Ballads.
The Lonesome Ace Stringband is a trio of some of the greatest instrumentalists in this country, if not continent. I know this is a bold claim, but prove me wrong. Try to out fiddle John Showman, I'd like to see it. They all play in the infamous Foggy Hogtown Boys bluegrass. But the trio is different as can only be described by the following official bio:
The Lonesome Ace Stringband are Chris Coole (banjo and guitar), John Showman (fiddle) and Max Heineman (bass). Lonesome Ace lean toward the old-time side of things. They are a band without a website, a cd, or a myspace...they are a mystery...yet a familiar mystery...a mystery that fits like a favorite old shirt or glove (or gloves). The Lonesome Ace are students of Melodivisation, an all but forgotten school of music where the musician doesn't play the tune exactly the same way every time, but still plays the melody. Melodivisation takes elements of music, meditation, yoga, chess, tap dancing and jazz-fusion to create a sound that takes the listener on an ofttimes disturbing journey through time and space to the fourth and occasionally fifth dimension. At the root of the sound though, are three brothers and the down-home music they grew up playing and singing back at the old home place.
If you do not know much about the fourth dimension, please educate yourself:
The first guy playing on Friday is the bomb. He goes by "Stripmall Ballads" but he's been known as Phillips Saylor a little longer - he's been playing around America for years though he seems never to have aged past 17. We met him while he was being Carolyn Mark's side guy this summer. He blew our minds with his voice and guitar playing. But then we found out he wrote his own tunes, and the writing's some of the best going on right now in the world of folk or whatever the hell. He lives in DC, so we're lucky he's coming all the way up to play. He'll be on around 9:30 so come out earlier. According to the bio:
Stripmall Ballads is the latest musical manifestation of Phillips Saylor. A devout student of the American roots music tradition, Phillips got schooled on the road, spending his formative years playing shows to hobos under Maryland's rail road bridges, taking up claw hammer banjo and shape note singing in New England and breathing in harmony from the pews of Alabama and Georgia's Primitive Baptist churches. His professional work to date includes touring and collaborating with some of New folk's greatest acts, including Sarah Harmer, The Be Good Tanya's, Carolyn Mark, Baby Gramps, Jolie Holland and The Lonesome Brothers, picking and singing everywhere between East Tennessee to Edmonton. Phillips speaks his experience through a varied and dynamic catalog of songs on banjo and guitar.
After five years of fronting the critically acclaimed old-time revival duo, The Shiftless Rounders (featuring Ben Sidelinger), Phillips settled in the heart of the empire- Washington, D.C. and created Stripmall Ballads as a vehicle to focus on his original compositions and contextual performances. With a firm rooting in the traditional, Stripmall Ballads branches out into today's America, fusing virtuosic historical convention with contemporary lyricism. Reviving an old form of showmanship, an engaging form of showmanship, Stripmall Ballads draws out the audience, demanding attention for a new poetry. Phillips is currently playing and recording his solo work in Stripmall Ballads, and touring with King Wilkie all over the USA. LISTEN TO THE GUY HERE.