Tag Archives: Meg Duffy

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Kevin Morby Sells Out The Bowery Ballroom Ahead of New Album

May 25th, 2017

Kevin Morby – The Bowery Ballroom – May 24, 2017


Kevin Morby’s upcoming album, City Music, is an ode to this country’s metropolises, especially New York City. Fulfilling a “dream come true,” he played a packed Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, featuring many songs from the new record and filling them with the tangled, contradictory energy of the city. Morby opened with the title track, singing, “Oh that city music, oh that city sound,” two guitars jostling like taxis down an avenue, the music setting the audience in that liminal space between sway and dance before finally kicking into a double-time, double-energy finish that pushed things over the edge. The rest of the show seemed to teeter like this, Morby and the band itself like a city between night and day, romance and stoicism, dreams and reality.

Morby got his start in Woods and it felt appropriate that his band was made up of musicians who either came from other groups or are on their way to solo careers, including Nick Kinsey (Kinsey) on drums, Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) on lead guitar and Cyrus Gengras on bass. Together they were formidable, as equally comfortable creating hypnotic soundscapes as they were unleashing full-on guitar jams. The highlights featured all facets and more, like “Destroyer,” “Harlem River” and “I Have Been to the Mountain,” each opening into a variety of surprises, funky or thoughtful or full-on psychedelic. As inspired as the band was, Morby’s songs stood on their own and “Beautiful Strangers,” played solo “for Manchester,” resonated with every lyric.

I couldn’t have been the only one in the sold-out room who picked up on shades of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed in Morby’s songwriting and voice as he sang songs about New York City, like “Parade” and the album-closing “Downtown’s Lights,” in New York City. So, it was not a surprise, but no less satisfying when he covered a song by each, closing the set solo on a Dylan-birthday tribute of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” and finishing the three-song encore with a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll.” For the latter, Morby brought out Sam Cohen on third guitar, creating an appropriately city-sized noise to end the night. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Kevin Morby Returns to Sell Out Rough Trade NYC

June 23rd, 2016

Kevin Morby – Rough Trade NYC – June 22, 2016

kevin-morby-singing-saw
For a long time, Kevin Morby called New York City his home. After arriving here in his late teens, the city found it’s way into the songs he wrote, as it almost always does. He’s since moved on, but the songs remain and the place still loves him enough to welcome his return for back to back sold-out shows, the second one at Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday after playing Mercury Lounge on Tuesday. “I played New York last night so I’m trying not to regurgitate my banter,” Morby told the audience.

His set began with the soft and reflective “Cut Me Down” before jumping into the stop-and-start momentum of “Dorothy.” Morby’s got a knack for creating hook-laden grooves that pull you along, but at moments throwing you off the groove and floating the song with just his lyrics. The winding NYC-inspired “Harlem River” rolled through its foreboding rhythms and into an energetic jam, much like the river that cuts off Manhattan from the mainland. In his jams’ heftiest moments, Morby swung back and forth, throwing around both his mop of hair and his bolo tie.

Morby recalled an earlier time he’d played a local show with just his drummer, Justin Sullivan, when someone shouted, “Where’s the band?” He’s since added Cyrus Gengras on bass and Meg Duffy on guitar, who backed songs like “Destroyer” and “Miles, Miles, Miles” with some beautifully understated soloing. The band left the stage and Morby played through “Black Flowers” and Townes Van Zandt’s “No Place to Fall.” Everyone then returned to the stage for the encore, another Gotham-inspired tune, “Parade,” before shutting down things with the barn-burning “Ballad of Arlo Jones.”
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks