my heart is yours, honey
what’s mine is yours, honey
but only for a little while
So almost exactly two years ago, on a Thursday night, when I was just getting to know Glenn, I leaned across the bar at the 506 between a Holy Ghost Tent Revival set and a New Familiars set, and I told him he should book HGTR as headliners. They’d fill the place. And he took my word for it, and he did, and they have — and my boys, my boys have outgrown the 506, after two years. They sold it out last night, and despite being down a bass player and a keyboard player and having to make an emergency call to Greensboro and an ex-keyboard player, they rocked the place down to its foundations. Glenn told me he convinced them to do one more show there, one last one, for the last two years, and it was fantastic. It was the perfect way for them to grow up out of this venue, because they have grown up — the steps they’ve taken, the musical growth they’ve made, since we started seeing them in 2008 is just astonishing, and lovely.
The harmonies and the arrangements, the on-the-fly ability to construct a set that didn’t really need as much bass as they usually do. It was a glorious, shivery evening, and I am so proud of them that it makes me want to cry. They have worked so hard, and they are so good at what they do, and they deserve every minute of posted sold out show signs outside the 506. (Full photo set here.)
Asheville natives Do It To Julia, who are actually old friends of HGTR’s Hank, played the middle set on the bill, and they were fantastically fun — Ryan O’Keefe and Halli Anderson have perfectly matched voices, and she’s as dynamic as a frontwoman as you can get (and a classically trained violinist to boot). They sound like the mountains where they’re from, a little dark and a little rootsy, and entirely danceable. I will definitely be going to see them again.
e-s guthrie, who was actually playing with the New Familiars the night I told Glenn to book Holy Ghost as headliners, opened; he split with the band a while back and is now playing deft, gorgeous folk songs solo. He has one of my favorite voices ever, just warm and rich, and he cleverly used two mics to fake reverb and won over a pretty chatty crowd by the end, especially with a stunningly sad song about Phillipe Petit, the man who walked the wire between the World Trade Center towers. I’ve been wanting to see Eric in his solo incarnation for a while now, but this was his first show in the CH in a long time, so it’s been a while coming. It was worth waiting for. He’s great.