Rod Picott and Amanda Shires--a great opening act
There's nothing like a really good opening act. One that surprises you. One that you can put on your list and watch and start buying their music and you can say I knew them when--and that when was when they were an opening act.
I first heard Bobby Bare, Jr. when he opened for Lucero. Audrey Ryan opened recently for The Bittersweets, and she's a local musician worth learning about. Of course, there was this English country singer who opened for The Cowboy Junkies who actually stopped mid-song because he said he wasn't singing the right words, though I don't think anyone had noticed.
Last night we went to Club Passim to hear Paul Burch. There's always a silver lining to every dark cloud, and not working very much lets me spend a lot of time on Facebook. Wait, that's not really a good thing, is it, even under the auspices of "looking on the bright side." But I was hanging on Facebook yesterday and Club Passim gave two tickets to the first three commenters, so I found myself on the Red Line into Cambridge. And that's how I heard Rod Picott and Amanda Shires.
I guess they met up in Austin. He's from Maine and she's a fiddle player from Lubbock. Now they live in Nashville and play together sometimes, and now they're touring, joking last night that they are calling their tour the 100,000 mile tour or something like that. I guess they're driving around, starting from Nashville, in an old Jeep, and they'll end the tour when the Jeep rolls over 100,000 miles. Anyway, their music--I'm new to them but I think most of what they sang was written by Picott, though there's one murder ballad that Shires wrote--their music can be called kind of country ballads--stories about real life people and heartache with a bit of wry humor tossed in.
She's got a blistering Texas twang voice that she uses with mischief; his is more gravel and barbed wire, but they sound good together, the differences in their voice complementing the other: hers pulling his out of the funk and his keeping the songs serious.
Nice surprises. Check them out if you're looking for some real country tunes.