Yourchestra, Lonesome Leash and Fireletters played to a small audience Tuesday night at the Trunk Space. The usual crowd of college-age kids were out in their unique attire, but the mostly-acoustic show managed to attract a handful of salt-and-pepper-haired folks as well.
Yourchestra, a local group specializing in multicultural folk songs and musical improvisation, opened the evening’s events. The four-piece band was characterized by good humor and eccentric facial hair; it included a wide array of instruments such as stand-up bass, kazoos, harmonica, mandolin, and pipe to name a few. They raised the audience’s energy with their harmonized, folksy storytelling, which included a Woody Guthrie cover, a Hindustani ballad and an ode to the benefits of the Heimlich Maneuver. Everyone in the room seemed to be smiling by the time Yourchestra had finished its set.
After a quick break, Lonesome Leash took the stage. Walt McClements, an American from New Orleans, is the face of this solo project. He just released his album I Am No Captain at the beginning of the year, and is currently touring through the United States. Armed with an accordion, a small drum kit, intense facial expressions and a touch of brass, Lonesome Leash wooed the crowd with his flair for the dramatic. He mixed jaunty, circus-like melodies with slower tempos, narrating all the while in what sounded like a British accent. When he sang, “We can sweat away all the memories and regrets,” the hushed crowd seemed to believe him.
The punchy Fireletters followed the seriousness of Lonesome Leash without hesitation, singing a Trunk Space-themed sea shanty as they set up their equipment. The local duo combined the sounds of their acoustic and electric guitars with shenanigan-filled lyrics, and delivered the cheekiness of Irish folk-punk at the end of the night. The band’s songs often made references to a warrior-like punk rock tradition, as evidenced by their tale of a three-day bender. They showed a softer side of Irish punk that proved to be just as fun as its louder counterparts in the genre.
The folksy acts provided a wonderful variety of the genre Tuesday night, touching on the differences within the genre, yet they still managed to weave a tale of what it means to be a folk singer.
Photo by Katie-Lee Faulkner/DD