Quick pick late on Friday for you all, especially those who love singer-songwriters and Americana. Since the order of these artists has been listed differently in a bunch of different places, I’ll just start talking about them below and you all just make sure you show up early to The Camel so you don’t miss any of the wonderful music.
Let’s start with Drew Gibson. I spent a lot of time gushing over this Richmond native’s record 1532 last year, and I’m going to briefly do it again here… because it’s utterly spectacular. 1532 was by far one of the premier records of 2015 and it all hinges on Gibson’s ability to immerse the listener in a modern reflection of the past, with plenty of themes and convictions that push the narrative to the present. Songs like “Bettie-Jane” and “Lorelei” are musical powerhouses that serve dual purposes, with their somber celebrations leading to plenty of personal breakthroughs on both current and future life. I’ve been lucky enough to catch Gibson live twice now, once in a trio set at The Tin Pan and once behind the microphone at WDCE for an episode of Sound Gaze, and each time I was blown away by his music. The emotive ability he sways is awe-inspiring and you find yourself hanging on every aspect of the music, from hammer-on to vocal lift. For years, he’s been one of Virginia’s most talented musicians so don’t miss this (or any) chance to see him live.
Also on this bill is Luray, a local indie folk group that beautifully blurs the line between melody and ambience. If memory serves me correct, Luray actually played their first show ever at The Camel back in 2013 so this should an interesting show that could serve as a homecoming within a homecoming. Luray’s sound is one of meticulous placement with the space between the notes and parts being as key to the overall sound as any instrument itself. Think of the terms Americana and folk and I guarantee you that “Promise Of Lakes” is not what you’re imagining, but it boldly honors those styles while striving for something fresh and creative. Live, this band is reserved and cautious, but it’s all by design with their careful ears and hands leading to some of the most stirring music you could hope to hear live. Apparently the group has a new record scheduled for early 2017, giving you even more reason to come out and hear them live — you might just catch some previews of these new songs being added to their rich catalogue.
Rounding out the show (or maybe headlining — I still don’t know the show order) is Richmond’s own David Shultz, one of Richmond’s more well-known and celebrated songwriters. After releasing three acclaimed and honored records last decade, Shultz has been taking it easy the past few years, but he’ll be back this Saturday with some friends on stage as he revisits some of his more well-known songs, and maybe debuts a few new ones that could make up his upcoming fourth release The Coaster. He may not be as wildly discussed today as he once was, but Shultz is still a definite force in the local music scene and a safe bet for great performance any time he steps on stage.
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