The house show is dead. Long live the house show!
After 3 or 4 years of maybes and ifs, I was finally able to make it out to a Billsville House Concert this past weekend. After originating in Williamstown, MA (where the nickname Billsville comes from,) Doug Hacker and his family pulled up roots and relocated to Manchester, VT, where they continue to put on perfect house shows for the locals who are lucky enough to be in the know.
On this occasion, I was lucky enough to be present for the triumphant return of Rayland Baxter (accompanied by his new band) and a few songs from his tourmate, Margaret Glaspy.
As my son and I walked up the drive to the house on the hill, we could hear uproars of applause, and as we walked in and found our place, we were able to catch two great numbers from Glaspy who’s debut album is due out this summer on ATO. If you get a chance, don’t hesitate to make your way out to catch Margaret. Leave thanks in the comments afterwards.
Closing out an evening with the ever charismatic Baxter is never a bad thing. Rayland, still touring behind last years immense release Imaginary Man (I may or may not have proclaimed it the best of last year,) has assembled a new group since his last tour. And while you could tell they were still feeling each other out and figuring out exactly how to make things work, there were no points of disconnection.
Having seen these tunes performed a few times previously, it was evident that Baxter’s goal of having these songs live on in as many different ways as possible is alive and well. They were certainly recognizable as the tunes we know and love, but each had a bit of a different flavor then when last they were heard. You’ll get a sense of what he means if you grab the new Soho EP (bonus: you get a cover of My Morning Jacket’s Bermuda Highway!)
If you’re reading this in the Boston area, do what you need to do to get your ass to Brighton Music Hall tomorrow night and let Mr. Baxter and Ms. Glaspy warm you up with two sets of fantastic tunes.