Asheville music lovers not partaking in St. Patrick’s Day festivities — as well as those merely taking a multihour break from the revelry — were treated to rare solo acoustic performances by Mary Lattimore, Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee on Friday, March 17, at the Masonic Temple.
Experimental harpist Lattimore began the show, returning to her hometown a mere six weeks after opening for Parquet Courts at The Grey Eagle. Again keeping her performance short, the Los Angeles resident played an almost entirely different setlist than that of her previous local stop, rendering the few redeployed basic melodies wholly new with fresh layers created with the aid of loops.
Lattimore’s atonal plucking on the harp’s upper register remains challenging and not always pleasant on the ears. But the primitive percussion conceived via knocking on her instrument’s wood body and rubbing vertically on its bass strings added the intriguing feel of falling acorns to her fourth and final song — a sensation that felt especially appropriate considering the stage’s lush forest decor. Such on-the-spot inventiveness bodes well for her forthcoming New Rain Duets show with Mac McCaughan on Wednesday, April 19, at The Mothlight, during which the two will improvise new compositions based on prearranged structures and ideas.
Minus the electronic effects that give his 2016 album Singing Saw a frequent futuristic edge, fellow Los Angeleno Morby has a decidedly Dylan-esque sound in acoustic form. Though his voice is far more on-pitch than that of the recent Nobel Laureate, Morby’s lyrics inspire…
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