Last night I read the new issue of Magnet, which has a running "Please Explain" feature, this month featuring one Eric Bachmann explaining how exactly he lived in his van while recording To The Races: "I have a cot for sleeping, a fold-up chair, a guitar, some blankets, and a few cases of bottled water. I have a membership to the YMCA to take showers and maintain some kind of dignity and by trying to stay in reasonable shape...it's really good if you want to focus and get a lot done."
With that image in mind I headed out to Iota last night to see Bachmann, who's touring with Richard Buckner. Based on Chromewaves' review I expected Buckner to open, but tonight Bachmann took the early slot, opening with Archers of Loaf's "Chumming the Ocean" (!). His backing band (up to three folks depending on the song) included Races vocalist Miranda Brown and Kate O'Brien on violin; they faithfully performed the new album's material and added whole new dimensions to the Crooked Fingers songs. The highlight of the set for me (accurately listed on the setlist with the exception of "Sleep All Summer" also being played after "Carrboro Woman", with killer vocal harmonies from Brown and O'Brien) was Red Devil Dawn's "Bad Man Coming", lifted from a truly creepy dirge to a galloping, mid-tempo country tune, Bachman's impressive figerpicking laying down the foundation for O'Brien's swirling, slightly ominous playing.
Do the right thing and try to catch this show on the handful of southern and midwestern dates remaining. iff approved this message.