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Monday, May 16, 2011

Cass McCombs & Jana Hunter Live at Bowery Ballroom 5/12/11

The last time I saw Cass McCombs I was pretty disappointed in his set last July. It was also at the Bowery and he had opener Lightspeed Champion. He was playing some new material very seventies influenced which is not what made it on his new album Wit's End.

However tonight's set, his new album and his new band members all drove it back home with style as Cass and crew put on an amazing show delivering a handful of tracks off Wit's End. They opened with "Buried Alive," "The Lonely Doll" and County Line," which he and the band executed with precision and grace. He performed quite a nice set with slow brewing cadence which included a great mixture of older tracks. They did a lovely version of "Equinox" off of PREfections, and from his debut E.P they played "Not The Way." The band delivered some tunes from his 2009 album Catacombs' including "Prima Donna," "Don't Vote," and during "Harmonia" Cass finished a great solo on his nylon string guitar and then called out the next band member. Each member took their turn to showcase their soloing chops before sending it back to Cass who brought his vocals into the mix at the end of this heavy weighted almost instrumental track. He and the band ended the show with some tunes off his album A including "AIDS in Africa" and "When The Bible Was Wrote" and ending with "Bobby, King of Boy’s Town."

It was a delight to see Jana Hunter lead singler/guitarist of Lower Dens opened the show with a amazing solo set. Armed with her voice, a guitar and a looper pedal Jana created some breathtaking swells of music that built and built then gently blew away in a breeze. Back in 2005 prior to her band Lower Dens attention grabbing debut Jana had put out an amazing solo album called Blank Unstaring Heirs Of Doom. It was the first record released on Devendra Banhart's label Gnomonsong. It is a great LP you can read our review of it here. She also put out of few great tracks on some compilations. Jana played many tunes from I recalled "Farm, Ca.," "The Angle" and "The New Sane Scramble." It was really great hear these tracks live and to see her stand so tall as a solo performer.

Photos & Review by Kevin Serra

Setlist: ( You can download this set over from NYC Taper.

01 Buried Alive
02 The Lonely Doll
03 County Line
04 Meet Me Here At Dawn
05 Prima Donna
06 Pregnant Pause
07 Harmonia
08 Meet Me At the Mannequin Gallery [new song]
09 Equinox
10 Don’t Vote
11 Not the Way
12 Aids in Africa
13 When the Bible Was Wrote
14 Bobby, King of Boy’s Town

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