Monday, October 23, 2006

Kris Gruen | The Bowmans | Langdon Street Cafe | Oct 20th

After a miserable week at work last week, I was very glad to be heading down to Langdon Street Cafe to see a bunch of friends and watch Kris Gruen and The Bowmans. Then I opened the garage door and discovered...the first snow of the season.

The odd thing about the timing of the first snow is that, according to my post last year about the first snow, the snow fell the same weekend as the annual Ski & Skate Swap; just like this year. Perhaps the Montpelier Recreation Department seeds the snow clouds each year to get people to think about winter and buy lots of ski equipment.

When I got down to Langdon Street, it was good to see Greg, Mike, jds , Scully and Sarah. The problem was I arrived halfway through The Bowmans set. So, it was hard to catch up with everyone while trying to catch The Bowmans and not make too much noise during the acoustic set.

I met The Bowmans down in Boston last month after the NEMO bloggers panel. They had heard me mention that I live in VT and stopped to let me know they'd be playing in VT with Kris Gruen. So, we had a nice brief conversation until a friend of theirs fired up a joint on the busy sun-splashed sidewalk. Not wanting to get busted, I said goodbye but I kept the show in mind.

The Bowmans are twin sisters from NYC who play acoustic folk tunes with harmonies. On their album, Far From Home, they mix in a bunch of different instruments. However, they seem to tour constantly which means to cut down on the extra baggage, their live show was just Sarah's guitar and Claire's stomping heel.

Here's a clip of one of their tunes.

While The Bowmans were stripped down, Kris Gruen spruced up his sound since the last time I had seen him at The Black Door back in August. The thing I like about Gruen's album, Lullaby School, is all of the little sounds that dance around in the background. During the show at The Black Door, they weren't there. However, a guy from NYC came up to VT to play the show with Gruen's band and his responsibility seemed to play all of those different odd little sounds I love. At one point, Gruen himself even got into the building of the soundscape by playing a child's saxophone. I wasn't sure what it was at first but I asked him afterwards and, sure enough, it was his daughter's toy sax. It all made for a really good set.

This is a clip from "Tender Theory". You can see the multi-instrumentalist from NYC playing the melodica on the left behind guitarist, Brian Clark.

You can also read a review of the show over at Lat 44.2N. jds has a few tracks from Lullaby School available also.

Gorilla vs Bear reviewed The Bowmans earlier this year.

The Bowmans | On the Road | Buy

1 comment:

Claire said...

Hi it's Claire here from The Bowmans. You know, I had read this article before and somehow totally overlooked the part about someone firing up a joint at NEMO! I should sincerely apologize for Brian's discomfort that day, although it wasn't a JOiNT our Swiss friend lit up, it was a rolled cigarette, filter and all! :-) What a scene that must have been, I realize now, imagining lighting up on a downtown street like that! I rarely smoke myself, and almost never smoke pot (not intending to alientate any pot smokers, it's just something I don't do much myself), but I think I shared the cigarette with Chris, which must have looked worse, even... oh boy. (Slapping my forehead.)

Anyway, just thought I'd clear that up. We're going to be playing at Langdon Street again this Spring. Hope to see you there. No smoking! (Ha. ha. Ha. I'm such a dork.)
Claire Bowman