On Friday evening, DC9 hosted an early show featuring two up-and-coming Canadian folk artists, singer songwriters Tamara Lindeman – who performs as The Weather Station – and Andy Shauf. Both touring to support recent releases – The Weather Station’s third album, Loyalty (her first to get a US release, on Paradise of Bachelors), and Shauf’s first full-length, The Bearer of Bad News – the two artists shared a stage and a backing band (Ben Whiteley on bass, Adrian Cook on keyboards and guitar, and Ian Kehoe on drums).
Andy Shauf has been compared to singers like Elliott Smith and Josh Rouse, and hearing him live, it’s easy to understand why. His breathy, often falsetto vocals are reminiscent of both singers, as is his penchant for minor keys. But despite his clear place in a tradition, he’s developing a style of his own, as can be heard in songs like “Hometown Hero” and “You’re Out Wasting.” Live the songs are a bit more sparse and direct, without the layered vocals and additional instrumentation.
When Lindeman took the stage, she joked that even though her band looked the same as Shauf’s band, “they’re totally different guys.” And of course Lindeman’s quieter, more pastoral style meant that they sounded different too, as they adapted their styles to match her songs. Even the more rocking tracks like album opener “Way It Is, Way It Could Be” and “Floodplain” have a folky, fingerpicked core. Though Lindeman has been the subject of many too-easy Joni Mitchell comparisons (because all female Canadian folksingers must sound like Joni Mitchell, right?), she bears at least as much in common with singers like Linda Perhacs and Sandy Denny. Playing most of her 45-minute set with the band, she went solo for a couple of songs mid-set (“Loyalty” and “I Mined”), giving two of the most emotionally evocative tracks on the album a more personal feel.
All photos by Matt Condon. Click to embiggen.