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items tagged with Huckleberrys

A Lot with a Little: Laura Veirs, March 1 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-02-24 15:40:25

Laura Veirs

The leanness of singer/songwriter Laura Veirs' new album, July Flame, was born of considerations both practical and artistic.

On the logistical side, her band "fell apart" since she moved to Portland, Oregon, she said in a phone interview this week. So one goal with this set of songs was "getting back to the root of just a guitar and a voice and seeing what I could do with that again."

Her last album -- 2007's Saltbreakers -- was "really heavily dependent on everybody else being there for the songs to work," she said. Crafting tunes that could be performed in a solo setting meant she could tour the album on the cheap, and with a band if she had the money. (When she plays her Daytrotter.com show on Monday at Huckleberry's in Rock Island, she'll be bringing her band.)

But on an artistic level, "I really like sparse music that still hits you in the gut and does a lot with a little."


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Escaping the Trap: The Mieka Canon, December 15 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-11 19:15:46

Mieka Pauley. Photo by Josh Rothstein.

Listening to Mieka Pauley play and sing "All the Same Mistakes" in her Daytrotter.com session released earlier this year, it's hard to imagine somebody who at one point loathed her music.

Using just her voice and an acoustic guitar, she is defiant and forceful yet also surprisingly supple, muscular but precise. The version that appears on her 2008 album Elijah Drop Your Gun is prettier and more delicate and takes advantage of her full band, but the Daytrotter version smolders, builds, and ignites.

Yet in early 2007, Pauley said that she felt ensnared by that voice-and-guitar combo. She had what she called "a very sad epiphany" while looking in a bathroom mirror: "What am I doing?"


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A Familiarly Distinctive Voice: Harper Simon, November 23 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-19 15:36:44

Harper SimonRolling Stone began its positive four-sentence review this way: "At 37, Harper Simon apparently doesn't mind taking after his pops, Paul, who used to showcase the young, guitar-playing Harper when he was touring on Graceland."

On the one hand, that's mean. Living up to a legacy is tough enough -- just ask anybody with an older sibling -- but it's especially hard when that legacy belongs to a revered pop icon. And can Harper help that he bears a facial resemblance to his father, or that his singing voice and phrasing sound awfully familiar? Of course not.

On the other hand, he's asking for it. Paul Simon is credited as a co-writer on three tracks on Harper Simon, plays guitar on another, and "Wishes & Stars" has the gorgeous light harmonies his father specializes in. The jokey "Tennessee" puts the elder's trademark wit in a country context.

Yet it would be a mistake to pigeonhole Harper Simon -- performing a Daytrotter.com show on Monday at Huckleberry's -- based on his genes. His debut, released last month, is a quietly adventurous and accomplished work, spanning genres and generations. Employing senior-citizen Nashville session players with intimidating credits (Dylan, Cash, Presley, McCartney, and many more) alongside his contemporaries, Simon has made an album specific to its primary singer, all over the place and yet surprisingly cohesive. It's tight and concise but feels relaxed, natural, and easy.


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An Exchange: Sondre Lerche, November 11 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-05 14:47:22

Sondre LercheThe singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche speaks of his audience like a pool of friends and acquaintances -- a blob that's ever-changing.

With each album, he said, "you're gaining someone, and you're losing someone. ... You're going to be reunited with someone you met in the past, and somebody else is going to take some time off and not be a part of what you do, and then also someone brand-new is going to enter the field and be excited about what you do. ... I like that idea."

That speaks to a healthy attitude toward the consequences of his artistic exploration, as well as the fickle taste of the public, but it also reflects the intimate nature of his adventurous, manicured, instrumentally omnivorous pop music, which seems to foster a relationship between artist and audience.

Lerche should be right at home at his Daytrotter.com show on Wednesday at Huckleberry's, with the small venue offering him plenty of opportunity for that give-and-take.


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Well Seasoned: Lissie, November 11 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-03 22:34:10

Lissie. Photo by Andrew Calder.

It might be lemons and lemonade and all that, but Rock Island native Lissie Maurus said she's pleased that it's taken her this long to reach this point in her musical career.

Maurus (who performs under the name Lissie) spent half a decade in Los Angeles and, for the most part, made her living from music. But when she comes back to the Quad Cities for a Daytrotter.com show next week headlined by Sondre Lerche (see article here), she'll be supporting her first proper release.


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