It’s show time, and you are in the company of two contemporary singers, raconteurs and musical mediums of inescapable style and depth. Both players come from the slow-burn, rough-hewn, passionate side of musical stagecraft, and seeing them swagger and stomp is a treat for all.
Richard Dawson, from the North East of England, is described as a hidden jewel – he certainly shines bright and hard while reeling in live audiences with his warm hearted, idiosyncratic and eerily transfixing show. Frank Fairfield travels all the way from California and has a measured grace and time altering charm. His chops and his sincerity bites through the fatty gristle that accompanies so many singer/songwriters. As a foil for each other, this is a double bill of some reckoning, two straight up but skewed troubadours whose travels bring the audience lost popular songs and obscure esoterica that deserve your attention.
Richard Dawson‘s voice has been compared to everyone from Tim Buckley to Richard Youngs while his guitar playing recalls Sir Richard Bishop and Zoot Horn Rollo and, combined with the inescapable snare of his lyrics, means surrender to his music is inevitable.
2013 saw Dawson go from local legend to touring Europe twice. He ended the year with his album The Glass Trunk being named Leftfield Album Of The Year by Stewart Lee in The Sunday Times. Richard has a new album out (on a new label) in Autumn 2014.
“This remarkable album packs all these emotions and more into its 19 highly idiosyncratic and imaginative pieces…it’s mingling of the incidental with the testimonial hopes and anxieties of all-but-forgotten people is profoundly affecting” Alex Neilson (The Wire)
Frank Fairfield is a sensation, even is 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. Touring this time with fiddling accomplice Zak Sokolow.
Presented by Colston Hall in association with Qu Junktions