One of my favorite artists these days, The Tallest Man on Earth
, was in DC last week, back to Black Cat. This time, however, he was the main act. Hurrah!
His new album, The Wild Hunt
, is great. Many of the themes and structures from Shallow Grave are seen again, which is a good thing, but the songwriting and playing feel a little more grounded. The balance is slightly more toward strumming than fingerpicking, which is paired with slightly more instrumentation. Fear not though, Tallest Man is more than strong enough to be remarkable with just a guitar, and he's not moving away from that anytime soon (although the final song on the album is solo piano).
A few differences between this concert and last: the mustache has become a beard and a few songs were played on electric guitar. Also, people went crazy for him. It's been interesting seeing him a few times. The first, opening for Bon Iver at the end of 2008, introduced him to lots of people in the room, who clapped politely and probably looked him up afterward. During the second, June 2009 opening for John Vanderslice, it was still easy to get up to the front and have some shoulder room.
This time...lots of people hollering and singing along. He seemed as surprised as me, but confident. He was still able to command, with a couple requests, absolute silence in the room when the time was right.
Such a great show. I had a chance to talk to him again afterward, thanked him from YBP, and got him to sign an errant pick
(yeah, that's mine now). Anyway, get your hands on the album, and listen to the theme song he wrote for Yellow Bird Project