Serendipity smiles on us this summer: Frank Fairfield and Marisa Anderson, our two favourite channellers of the sweet, dark, hard n’ raw American folk/blues spirit, find the time to swing by Bristol together for a loose and intimate basement beano.
You may know Marisa from her slot on last year’s trailblazing Mississippi Records tour, or Frank from his various Bristol visits and last year’s royal reception in the Green Man Walled Garden: both make any show feel like a glorious homecoming, an unmissable occasion steeped in grit and history.
Frank Fairfield is a sensation, even if he is not letting off fire crackers or constantly uploading to YouTube. He is a banjo picker. A fiddle hummer. A song singer. The music he plays, creates, and performs is the music that carried all of us, from all over the world, to the place (wherever that place may be) we are now. He plays the American landscape, the one he himself sees and experiences. He goes about it with the only tools necessary, as any good craftsman would. A man not competing with time, only living in his own.
From California, USA, Frank sings tunes he has worked hard to collect from around the world as well as his own well-dusted ditties. His eclectic sets feature soaring hillbilly ballads, arcane rambling songs and murder ballads delivered in a reedy tenor with that irresistible American Primitive quality. He cut his teeth as a street performer in LA and has the raw intensity and quick-fingered technique to make your hairs stand on end.
Loved by many he has toured with Cass McCombs, Fleet Foxes, Charlie Parr and released on his own Pawn imprint plus Jack White’s Third Man records and Tompkins Square. His latest touring adventures have seen him storming OFF Festival in Poland with fiddling accomplice Zak Sokolow, as well as embarking on a string of UK dates with Richard Dawson.
Walking across America at 19 years old just might be one of the reasons why Marisa Anderson’s music is so fluid with folk, blues and country, en-capturing this restless soul. A fluid, emotional and dexterous guitar style inspired by Delta blues, West African guitar, Appalachian mountain music, vintage country & Western, gospel, noise and rhythm gives Marisa an edge all of her own.
Three albums and a host of limited releases in, her acoustic and electric guitar playing is compelling: she effortlessly veers from delicate to distorted, adrift to serene, tight-woven to unbound. Deep within the heart of her music lie melodies and rhythms that she plays around with with such a tactile sense that things are always fresh, warm and above all tender.