The Angelus, Le Leek Electrique, Clint Niosi Dan's Silvereaf Saturday, July 7
The Angelus, Warren Jackson Hearne and Le Leek Electrique, and Clint Niosi complemented each other handsomely on Saturday night, building a perfect crescendo from the reflective intelli-folk of Niosi, to the jazzed-up Eastern European death ballads of Hearne, into the slightly more aggressive, quasi-experimental compositions of the Angelus.
Fort Worth's Clint Niosi began alone, seated on a chair with only his guitar to cushion the cutting deepness of his voice. The few dozen people that had been waiting and talking at the stage-front tables abruptly quieted down. A stand-up bass lay to his right as he delicately plucked and strummed through deceptively simple songs like "Shark In Your Water" and "Anxiously Awaiting the End." He then invited James Talambas onstage to play his stand-up bass, and closed out his set with violinist Claire Hecko.
Warren Hearne was up next, and his new band, Le Leek Electrique, injects some soul into his ever-evolving oeuvre. Even though the horn section (which includes Jeff Barnes of Brave Combo) and bassist Ryan Williams (who is currently touring with the Boxcar Bandits) were not in attendance, the spirit of the group was unmistakable. Drummer Tex Bosley, guitarist Dan Dockrill, violinist Tamara Brown and bassist Zack Landreneau were perfect in their dark delivery.
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A few drinks in, Paul Slavens, who played with Hearne several years back, decided to sit behind the un-mic'd piano to the left of the stage upon hearing the band begin "Celendine." "I know this one," Slavens said as he maneuvered through the crowd and plopped down to jam with the band, providing flawless accompaniment.
The Angelus, playing as a trio, graced the stage around midnight. They've landed some high profile shows recently, including a February Sons of Hermann Hall slot opening for Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. Lead singer Emil Rapstine and drummer Justin Evans harmonized perfectly through songs like "Turned To Stone" and "Screaming Bloody Murder," and for the last four songs of their set, they invited Petra Kelly onstage, who has been a ubiquitous presence in bands such as Hares on the Mountain and Spooky Folk.
By the way: Niosi's latest, For Pleasure and Spite, will be released next month. Hearne is completing his newest untitled project, and The Angelus is still promoting their latest, On a Dark & Barren Land.