Damien Jurado - U Street Music Hall1115 U Street NW Washington,DC
05/18/2019 7:00 PM - 05/18/2019 9:00 PM
Let me tell you a story about a boy with raven hair and a crooked smile.
This boy grew up moving from state to state, watching the hills grow flat from a backseat window and the brush become evergreens in the headlights of their rented truck.
All those goodbyes can break a boy’s heart, at least that’s what I’m told, but they can also shake loose parts you don’t expect, like eyes that see things others have trouble putting their fingers on. And when you can see like he does, I think it’s only natural you’ve got to find a way to tell someone.
For him it started with a paintbrush and pieces of canvas before it became a guitar and a microphone. I suppose if someone took away those too he’d just find a different way to get the story out.
For the last two decades he’s been creating and performing songs—for TV shows and movies, and alongside names like Filous and Moby. He’s been writing and recording albums with people like Richard Swift.
But mainly he’s been painting pictures for the people in towns he spent his childhood passing through, the brothers and sisters and cousins who wait in line at theatres and bars, and who listen to his music in their kitchens.
Like previous albums, the horizon just laughed started with a dream. Though, that’s where things change, as they often do. It is his first self-produced album, more personal and more rooted than even his Maraqopa trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he’s stumbled upon his home.
But, like I told you, this is just a story; you’ll have to ask him if you want the truth.
Claire Carey Deering
Anna St. Louis
If Only There Was a River is the first full-length studio album from Anna St. Louis. The songwriter, who originally hails from Kansas City, began writing songs after moving to Los Angeles five years ago and has previously released a cassette of recordings on Mare Records, appropriately titled “First Songs”. The tape received notice from NPR: All Songs Considered, Pitchfork, and Stereogum.
On her proper debut, St. Louis, spreads her wings and expands on the promise hinted at on First Songs.
To achieve that end, St. Louis enlisted Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) and Kevin Morby to produce the album, which was engineered by Thomas in his home in Mount Washington, LA. The collection of 11 songs also features Justin Sullivan (Night Shop) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo). While hints of influences like Loretta Lynn, John Fahey and Townes Van Zandt peek out of the corners of the songs, If Only There Was a River is not a nostalgic affair. Rather it marks the emergence of an artist fully coming into their own.
“Being from the Midwest means a certain tone is woven into ones’ fabric. And every now and then, someone comes along who has the power to convey that feeling in their cadence alone. And so all hail Anna St Louis, who lets us into her world of heartache, wonder and a never-ending, never-beginning dance with time. Her album is for the mystics, reminding us that the world is full of magic at every turn, if only we let ourselves see it. Sometimes just by stating a simple observation, St. Louis lets us in on an infinite truth that perhaps we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. To step into the world of Anna St. Louis is to step into a world where the heart leads straight to the soul and where everything is cloaked in beautiful mystery. If Only There Was a River is a record of longing - of a soul reaching for more.