Where: Bobo Gallery
Genre: Indie Rock, Singer Songwriter
Be Glad You Stayed Home if: You desire football stadium anthems on repeat in your head on St. Patty’s Day. And the thought of sitting still and listening to musical prose on this semi-holiday turns you green with nausea.
St. Patrick’s Day is typically adorned with leprechaun attire, volume eleven voices, and the faint whiff of someone’s lunch escaping to the sidewalk. It’s refreshing to hang at an art bar where the prerequisite doesn’t command you to party in the parameters of amateur night.
BoBo Gallery made the perfect setting for Night’s Bright Colors, an indie pop/art rock out fit helmed by Jason Smith. Word floated around that NBC is nearing it’s end as a live band, and it’s a shame considering the body of work by Smith, which includes a quartet of asylum-themed concept albums.
The support included pipes from James Richards (who also plays bass and acoustic in Night’s Bright) and Utah Green.
Richards greeted the crowd by heralding St. Patty’s as the “whitest festival on the calendar” before delving into tunes ranging from stories about a tobacco farmer (his dad-dedicated, “Bourbon County Special” ) to finding hope amidst the recent onslaught of gay bullying (“You Are Mine”). Richards (who was the all-star performer at last year’s local tribute to 69 Love Songs at The Grey Eagle) makes the singer-songwriter craft look approachable. He owns a rare air that manages to include every listener in the room. His handling of the strings was on par with his emotional voice, which made the ears absorb every endearing tale.
All videos courtesy of Paul Schattel
Next up was Utah Green, a very unique singer songwriter whose poetic meter was reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Malvina Reynolds. Green’s strengths lies in her oddities, and she takes her craft seriously with a wry wink. Her off-kilter delivery owned a gypsy flair with an Eastern European tinge. Songs like Cheryl Ann and the Sauerkraut Queen ensured that no schmaltz would finds its way on stage.Flourishes of harmonica filled in the gaps, and she even brought up a mandolin player (William Bodway) and a drummer (Mattick Frick) for several numbers that recalled the days when the country fell for folk music swirling in the dust bowl.
Night’s Bright Colors closed the evening in rocking fashion. Shades of Wilco, Elliot Smith, and even Nirvana-esque guitar crunches filled the room. Sounding like art rock through a pop grinder, NBC made their way through the set like a band poised for a worldwide tour. Front man Smith looked at home behind the mic, and Richards’ supporting harmonies and acoustic git gave gravity to already meaningful songs (especially, “By the Lamplight”). Drummer Bryan Morrissey provided a solid anchor on (the very minimalist) kit and violinist, Mariya Potapova (of the Asheville Symphony and Bella Corda String Ensemble) appeared for several numbers and lent a classical air to the evening.
It’s regretful that this may be one of the last shows for Smith’s decade long creation. A lot of great musical ideas floated around the stage, and I hope the pin isn’t poised to pop the balloon just yet.
For more info on Jason and Night Bright, check out his website.
James Richards can be found here.
And Utah Green was found lurking over here.
If you dig Paul Schattel’s video, check out his production company site, Harrow Beauty Pictures
Did you attend the show? Tell us what you think.