836 N. Russell St. / Portland, OR, 97227
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
White Eagle Saloon & Hotel - White Eagle Saloon
$8 in advance, $10 day of show
21 and over
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8 p.m.$8 in advance, $10 day of show21 and over
Ben de la Cour has lived a different kind of life. After growing up in Brooklyn, he set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, janitor and agricultural worker in Havana, London, Los Angeles and New Orleans before settling in Nashville. Influenced as much by giants such as Townes Van Zandt and Warren Zevon as by Nick Cave and The Gun Club, Ben de la Cour has managed to meld all of these influences into a uniquely modern, haunting and sometimes darkly humorous sound that is all his own.
"Ben de la Cour's songs are brimming with urgent authenticity. There is thematic hardness and vulnerability throughout, but what distinguishes de la Cour's songs from lesser guitar-and-anguished-vocals hacks is the raw humanity of his delivery and the potency of his way with words." (No Depression)
In 2016 Ben de la Cour won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Competition and released ‘Midnight in Havana', eleven tightly crafted songs of what he refers to as "Americanoir". Tales of substance abuse, murder and mental illness sit in perfect juxtaposition with occasional moments of playful lightheartedness and the ever-present glimmer of hope. However, upon closer inspection, darkness almost always wins...an unlikely hero, but one that suits de la Cour.
"Gruff but well-read, quiet but dancing circles on one heel in the kitchen, Ben de la Cour is the enigma, the lone picker, the troubadour, the drifter, the one man band. He is a revitalizing force, providing the songwriting world with the honesty and emotion, the wisdom and history that is usually lost on singers trying to write the next beer can-blue jean hit."(American Music Project)
Anna Tivel's wide-eyed celestial folk songs belong in a similar ballpark with Anais Mitchell, Gregory Alan Isakov and Laura Veirs, where gentle picking plucks among occasionally unconventional sounds and a gorgeous voice tells stories of life in a world of natural wonders. The resulting music is incredibly honest, lyric-driven, and deeply affecting.
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