The Daniel Matto Quintet performs at The Carleton on Argyle Street on Wednesday (August 25) at 9pm. Tickets are $10. …
In a HUFFBy Nicole Trask | Aug 27, 2012
I was a little bit sad last night not be amongst the hoards rocking out to The Boss in Moncton but I found my own little sanctuary at The Carleton. Now, I know I am (yet again) pushing the boundaries of my shopping/fashion blog criteria, but I think that partaking in an intimate show with good wine and food qualifies as a lovely way to spend one’s hard earned dollars. And the fashion watching can get pretty damn entertaining as well, if I do say so myself. Sunday night marked the beginning of the Halifax Urban Folk Festival with Daniel Romano and Bry Webb gracing The Carleton stage in fine form. Simply put, it was an enticing way to launch a week of soulful crooning that will undoubtedly pluck on heart strings.
I’d never seen Daniel Romano play before but he immediately won me over with his “awww shucks” kind of wardrobe (think cowboy hat, handlebar moustache and embroidered guitar strap). Romano and his band were nothing if not vintage cowboys. The music didn’t disappoint either and Romano’s deep voice filled up the space superbly with tunes of love gone awry. This was alt-country at its finest. “Time Forgot (To Change My Heart)” was one of many bittersweet songs that had me enthralled. Romano’s voice is deep and rich, reminiscent of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. He captures themes of regret and wistfulness that most can relate to and puts a beautiful spin on it. I think it is safe to say that Romano could have easily been the headliner and he certainly left the stage with the audience wanting more.
Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Bry Webb (of Constantines fame) play at the chapel at Mount Allison during Sappyfest. It’s pretty hard to top this magical setting but Webb rose to the occasion on The Carleton’s cozy stage. There’s a beauty and maturity to the songs on the album Provider that’s hard to deny and Webb obviously has been influenced by the birth of his son and all that fatherhood entails. I have a soft spot for “Rivers of Gold” which filled up the room with such a strong melodic chorus. With Romano joining the band on drums and Joel Plaskett also gracing the stage, the set was an impressive mish-mash of complementary talent. I also tip my hat to the incredible stand-up bass player. And yes, your black button up shirt with embroidered red flowers remains a classic, now and forever.
To keep shopping on everyone’s radar, I should mention that every show at HUFF has a merchandise table with these hard to find CDs, records and eclectic band t-shirts. Even if you have all your beloved tunes stored in your smartphone, I still beg to differ that owning an actual album is the best way to support these artists and a wonderful keepsake.
For the first time in my life, I can truly say that being all in a HUFF isn’t a bad thing. This event may not be on your radar as of yet but it should be. The Halifax Urban Folk Festival will be chock full of amazing performers this week. It’s the little festival that could and it’s just getting started…