By SCOTT CUNNINGHAM // Lydia Loveless, Drive By Truckers, Valerie June, Ringo Starr and more!
With temperatures starting to fall and the days growing shorter, the summer concert season as wrapped up. Bands who have spent the summer at festivals now head indoors and in the Portland area we are off to a fantastic start.
Did you catch St. Paul and the Broken Bones last weekend at the Roseland? If not, you missed one terrific show. Fronted by Paul Janeway, the band is as hot as ever on the heels of their new release "Sea of Noise". The group's second LP is getting some well-earned attention and airplay across the country.
Janeway's vocals and moves have been compared to James Brown, but I think the better comparison is Al Green. Janeway is a bit more upbeat and funky than Green, but the vocals are similar in pitch and inflection. Seeing them for the first time, I commented to a friend that Janeway has spent a lot of time in churches, as his gestures, vocalizations, and vocal rhythm reminded me of a Southern preacher (the band hails from Alabama). Sure enough, I discovered later that Janeway had been in seminary school when he decided to leave and form the band.
If you haven't heard them, do your ears a favor and go grab their album. While you are at it, check out the Seratones, who opened the night. They are out of Shreveport and if their performance Saturday is any indication, then they've got a big future ahead of them.
Although the Truckers are the headliner and will be great for sure, I'm more excited about Loveless. Loveless has just released her fourth album, titled "Real", which is fitting because her music is known for being as authentic and brutally honest as it gets.
At only 26, she getting lots of attention for her mixture of country, honky tonk, and pop. "Real" falls more on the pop-ish side of the spectrum, but never strays far from her rootsy Americana style. The album is about as crossover as anything can be at the moment, being played on Triple-A, Americana, country stations alike. I wouldn't be surprised at all if she bags a Grammy before turning 30.
Looking ahead at the rest of October, the concert scene looks great as well. Some other dates I'm keeping an eye on are Elizabeth Cook (10/4 Aladdin), Brian Wilson (10/7 The Schnitz), Ringo Starr (10/18 Keller), Valerie June and Norah Jones (10/20 Keller), and Carrie Newcomer (10/21 Walters Center).