Pawtucket Times

Releases from Bonny Light Horsemen and Matt Kivel

- By Dan Ferguson

The super trio Bonny Light Horseman come to The United Theatre in Westerly for a highly recommende­d performanc­e on Friday, December 16. The group features singer/songwriter Anais Mitchell who is the writer behind the Tony award-winning Hadestown, Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats and The Shins, and Josh Kaufman known for his work with artists from Josh Ritter to Bob Weir. The group is on the road promoting its recently released sophomore longplayer called Rolling Golden Holy. It follows the trio’s Grammy-nominated 2020 debut which landed on countless Best Albums lists for that year. Rolling Golden Holy is marked by its quality songwritin­g, beautiful harmonies, and exquisite musiciansh­ip, and all put together into a folk setting. It receives the Ear Bliss look-see this week along with the new solo album from the now Austin, Texas-based singer and songwriter Matt Kivel. The new bend reality ~ like a wave is Kivel’s first album recorded wholly in Austin after four prior solo albums made between 2013 and 2016 while based in his hometown Los Angeles before a move to New York City and eventually to Austin. Kivel brings a pop sensibilit­y with experiment­al touches to bend reality ~ like a wave. Let’s take a look.

Bonny Light Horseman Rolling Golden Holy 37d03d Records

If you happened on the Newport Folk Festival last summer, hopefully you were able to catch the return of folk super trio Bonny Light Horseman. When the group first appeared in 2019, it was still somewhat of an under-the-radar entity with no formal album to its credit at the time, but its members were far from lacking identity in the music world. It featured the singer/songwriter Anaïs Mitchell who was the creative force behind the Broadway smash “Hadestown” for which she won both Tony and Grammy awards, Eric D. Johnson of the indie pop act Fruit Bats and The Shins, and Josh Kaufman who has worked with Craig Finn of The Hold Steady fame, Hiss Golden Messenger and The National, among others. Taking its name from a traditiona­l folk song, the trio released its self-titled debut in 2020 to much acclaim. The album mixed reinvented traditiona­l songs with new ones in a traditiona­l style based loosely on specific sources. “Super groups” like this can be fleeting what with its players usually having multiple artistic commitment­s to their other bands and projects. Luckily for music fans, such is not the case with Bonny Light Horseman. Round Two from the group called Rolling Golden Holy has just recently been released and it is every bit the quality affair its debut was. It features 11 original songs, most all of which sound as if they’ve been kicking around in the folk canon for ages. And that is the magic of Bonny Light Horseman: To make something new sound old, but in all the right kinds of ways. Take the song “California,” penned by Johnson. As he explains, “This one started off as a little crooked minor-key old timey tune. Then the three of us took it through the ringer together and it became what you’re hearing now. We sat in a room in the woods of New York and clawed and pawed at it until it turned into a little bitterswee­t shuffler.” That comradery is indicative of the group’s creative chemistry which can be sensed through all of Rolling Golden Holy. They enjoy the heck out of making art with each other and for that we here in listener-land are the direct beneficiar­ies. Highly recommende­d. Visit www. bonnylight­

Bonnie Light Horseman appear at The United Theatre in Westerly on Friday, December 16 at 8 pm. The United is located at 5 Canal Street in downtown Westerly. Visit https://unitedthea­ shows/bonny-light-horseman/ for ticket informatio­n.

Matt Kivel bend reality ~ like a wave Pedro Y El Lobo Records

When it comes to making melodic indie pop music, the singer/songwriter Matt Kivel opts for the delicate touch with the occasional experiment­al noise flourishes to keep the soundscape­s he creates just slightly unpredicta­ble. His new album called bend reality ~ like a wave continues a pattern of record making he has been on since his days creating music in his native Los Angeles beginning with his first solo album in 2013. Formerly of the indie pop band Princeton which he fronted with his brother Jesse before deciding to embark on a solo career, bend reality ~ like a wave is Kivel’s first album fully concocted in Austin, Texas where he relocated after time spent in both Austin after leaving L.A. and then New York City. Working with a full band for the first time since an earlier solo album certainly bolsters Kivel’s music, not to mention bringing extra depth to his sound on this album which has a distinctiv­e folk pop feel. The 11-track record also features a return appearance by past collaborat­or Bonnie “Prince” Billy who lends his distinct voice to three tracks including the highly melodic lead single (and video) from the album “Find Love” and the equally luminous “Amagansett.” It’s all part of an album which sinks its teeth in slowly, but firmly. Visit https://


Here we are in December and on the live music front, the holiday-themed shows are beginning to spring up along with the usual slate of other great stuff. Beginning in South County, The Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich gets into the holiday spirit with Christmas with The Celts happening on Saturday night and the legendary Judy Collins performing her holiday show at the venue on Sunday evening. Courthouse Center for the Arts in West Kingston presents Van Morrison Tribute act Moondance on Friday night. The ninepiece Nashville Christmas performs a holiday show on December 10. Sunday Funday happens at The Ocean Mist in Matunuck with Take It To the Bridge starting at 4 pm. At Pump House Music Works in Peace Dale (164 Kingstown Road), it is Mark Cutler & The Men of Great Courage on Friday evening. Country Dn’A with The M2 Duo opening perform on Saturday evening before weekend closes with First Soul Sunday featuring Dan Moretti & the Collective featuring Elise Testone at 6 pm. Don’t forget that every Monday night is the Uke jam at the Pump House while Tuesdays are Ole Time jam night and Wednesdays are Lounge night hosted by Matt Fraza. At The Narraganse­tt Café in Jamestown, it is the

Take It to the Bridge Trio on Friday evening. The Other Half plays acoustic rock on Saturday night before Cee Cee & The Riders close the weekend out with a heavy dose of roadhouse blues on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. Down in Westerly, the Knickerboc­ker Music Center on Railroad Street features the eclectic sounds of The Mystic Prophets on Friday evening and The Hoolios with special guests The Carleans on Saturday night. Kala Farnham is in the taproom on Sunday evening for a free show at 7 pm. Mark the calendars for December 16 when the fabulous Bonny Light Horseman featuring Anais Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats fame, and Josh Kaufman (The National) perform at the United Theatre. In the Northern reaches of the state, Chan’s Restaurant in Woonsocket (267 Main Street) presents Through the Doors playing the music of The Doors on Friday night. On Saturday evening, Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood are in the house of eggrolls & Blues. The Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland gets into the holiday spirit on Saturday night with A Very, Very Cassie and Maggie Christmas. Meatball Mondays and Open Mic with Adam Newell happens every Monday at Askew on Chestnut Street in Providence. Verbal Assault plays a Saturday matinee show at The Met Café in Pawtucket at 2 pm with Hammered Hulls in the opening slot. In the East Bay, the Newport Live music series continues its “Women’s Voices” series on Saturday evening with a performanc­e by singer/songwriter Alisa Amador at the Jamestown Arts Center. Coming up at the Jane Pickens Event Center in Newport on December 17 is Eileen Ivers: A Joyful Christmas. Finally, the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River goes holidays on Saturday evening with Gary Hoey’s Ho Ho Hoey Rockin’ Holiday Tour at 8 pm.

Pokey LaFarge comes to The Narrows next Thursday night.

(Dan Ferguson is a freelance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3.)

 ?? ?? Bonny Light Horseman, Rolling Golden Holy
Bonny Light Horseman, Rolling Golden Holy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States