A Folk Music Revival

April 2nd, 2012

The Revival Tour – The Bowery Ballroom – March 30, 2012

(Photo: Kirsten Housel)

On Friday night, the Revival Tour graced The Bowery Ballroom with two packed shows (early and late) featuring an amazing lineup of NYC locals Kayleigh Goldsworthy and Jenny Owen Youngs, Dave Hause of the Loved Ones, frequent Lucero collaborator Cory Branan, Tommy Gabel of Against Me!, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio and In the Emergency Room, and Hot Water Music’s Chuck Ragan—also known as a solo artist and founder of the tour. (Additionally Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg, on fiddle and upright bass, respectively, anchored the lineup.)

In keeping with the ideals of the tour, which was conceptualized from folk music’s openness and sense of camaraderie and years of on-the-road experience that often lead tourmates to collaborate at some point, each show began with all of the musicians playing together and then diverged into a loose hierarchical lineup that better allowed each singer’s voice and style to show. Although both Goldsworthy and Youngs have notable followings of their own, Goldsworthy’s performance of her song “Tennessee” was most memorable from the female voices. Considering that she’s cute as a button in a refined rock and roll way, I’m sure she won over many new fans on Friday.

Hause and Andriano have two of my favorite voices in punk rock and are great songwriters in their own right. However, on this night, I believe their talents were placed in a shadow by the sheer personas that are Branan (Southern and drunken), Gabel (upbeat and anarchistic) and Ragan (bearded and gruff). Andriano’s rendition of Alkaline Trio’s “Radio” (performed with Ragan) became a loud crowd sing-along, but the rest of the audience’s energy seemed spent on the latter three performers. Ragan’s performance of the slower-paced “Rotterdam,” a love song for his hard-working and often-missed wife, wonderfully capped his portion of the night. At 3 a.m., the late show ended as it had begun, with a packed stage and laudable musical camaraderie. —Kirsten Housel