There’s a certain somber delight that comes with attending a performance by Colter Wall. While the subject of the songs you’re singing along to may range from being harassed by police, to infidelity and revenge homicide, to driving your motorcycle off a mountainside, there’s a comforting feeling that even in your loneliest hour, you’re never alone and there’s always another day ahead of you.
Wall, an early-twenties Canadian Cowboy whose moody, husky baritone and classic songcraft have drawn the attention of music fans from Natuashish to Nashville, rolled into Cambridge this past Sunday to croon in front of a sold-out crowd at The Sinclair. All this, less than five months after selling out two consecutive nights at Atwood’s Tavern. Hopefully that gives you a small indication of the trajectory of this young gentleman’s career and another reason to add him to your must-see list.
That is, if you needed another reason.
Mind you, Wall has been anything idle over those months. Since his last visit to the area, he’s played or been added to a handful of notable festivals—including the evening’s sponsor, Newport Folk Festival—and from the sound of it, he’s recorded his second full length album, with a release date TBD.
On this occasion, the Speedy Creek native and his band worked their way through material pulled from Wall’s debut release Imaginary Appalachia, through his break-out, self-title LP, and they even dipped into his unreleased material to road test some of those beauties. And while I doubt that anyone will ever accuse the young crooner of singing happy songs, there’s no doubt that the songs from each of those releases brought a lot of joy to those in attendance.
In fairly sharp contrast to Colter and his reserved demeanor, the opening artist for the evening—UK singer-songwriter Jade Bird—presented with a hard-strumming, sharp-witted, fiercely-female set that was more than welcomed by the Cambridge crowd and no doubt put her on the radar of the local music scene. Certainly, after hearing songs like “Good Woman” and “Catherdral” performed live, the most obvious common trait that binds these two artists together is the ability to weave perfectly personal and relatable tales and express them in ways that add to the narrative, and don’t distract from it. Oh, that and they’ve figured all this out at dizzyingly young ages.
This dynamic duo has a handful of dates left together before mid-May. If your friends come-a-askin’, be sure to send them out to catch this show.