Concert Review: Deadwood Floats w/ Audrey and Orwell, Sovroncourt at The Tree Barby Ryan G on Jun 6, 2012 • 10:26 pm No Comments
Not every show has to be loud or flashy. But, show artists that embody this concept are indeed as poised to impact the larger music scene as their heavier counterparts. Columbus, Ohio’s Deadwood Floats is one of these artists, and I’m privileged to say I know most of the people in the band personally.
The Tree Bar is a fitting venue for such an act to play. With no roadside signage, you have to know where you’re going, turning down an alley towards a U-Haul facility just west of the Ohio State campus. What you find is a windowless concrete building with three rooms inside – a bar area (surprise!) a billiards room, and a back room where local bands and the occasional traveling indie band will play. The “concert hall” is marked by where the venue gets it’s name – a large, dead tree stump right there in the ground, exposed in the middle of the floor in a new role as a bar table. Well, onto the music!
Sovroncourt opened the night to a dozen or so bystanders with their brand of croak-folk, a phrase they came up with themselves. Vocally, they seemed to be channeling Aaron Weiss of mewithouYou a bit. The drum kit was about as eclectic as I’ve ever seen – a bass, snare, cymbals, and an extra pole that held a long aluminum can. Occasionally, a xylophone, washboard, or something else would overlay the snare. The sound was rounded out by an accordionist and some sparse acoustic guitar. An acquired taste, but a fitting act they were for the evening.
Audrey and Orwell are a quartet that in the past have played the quite prolific ComFest, held every June in Columbus. Male/Female vocals were backed by violin and cello, providing what would be the most mellow portion of the already so evening. There were no vocal gymnastics. Indeed, they took the less is more route to the edge of risky but they succeeded and the audience dug it.
Quintet Deadwood Floats arguably drew the biggest crowd of the night. Unfortunately, their usual accordionist Luke Fleeman was at the time hospitalized with a collapsed lung. One never would have guessed something was amiss though – they sounded simply fantastic, playing a mix of covers and originals. They mixed in cuts off their acclaimed Provence EP which they recorded in Nashville and a few new ones as well. “About A Man” and their just released single “The Colours I Earned” especially shone. This band is doing all the right things – they exude humility and spot-on musicianship in their live performances and recordings, which by the way they are doing for free in their own homes for the next record. “The Colours I Earned” is available for free download from the band, and their Provence EP is for sale on their bandcamp page.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CURT GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY