Being called an art-folk troubadour can be a bit of a curse. The very mention of any part of that descriptor can (specifically troubadour) can throw some people into a haze where the tiniest tinge of acoustic guitar, no matter how well structured or evocative it is, can ever prevent them for opening up their ears and their heart. But you don’t need fret about such a thing occurring with Nick Jaina. The Portland bandleader makes a poppy kind of sound that should keep everyone wide awake.
“Sleep Child”, pulled from his upcoming album A Bird In The Opera House, takes everything we love about folk music (intense and intelligent lyricism combined with a simple structure and deeply emotional vocals that border on wailing for certain bars) but he spins it into his own beast. The guitar cuts through the air and chugs along like some folksy Johnny Cash. But more than being the focus of the song, punctuated by stringsm tribal drumming, and the clapping of hands, it’s light and kinetic, forcing a child-like spurt of ADD-ridden movement that no other art-folk song could ever muster.
Jaina and his band, which includes labelmates Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson along with Jolie Holland, is on tour starting this April. A Bird In The Opera House is out April 13th via Hush Records.
Nick Jaina 2010 Tour Dates:
04/02 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
04/07 – Eugene, OR @ Sam Bonds
04/08 – Davis, CA @ Sophia’s
04/09 – Modesto, CA @ Cafe Deva
04/10 – Merced, CA @ Partisan
04/11 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
04/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord
04/13 – Chico, CA @ Cafe Flo
04/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo Curio
04/15 – Joshua Tree, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
04/16 – San Diego, CA @ Lestat’s
04/17 – Phoenix, AZ @ TBA
04/19 – Torrey, UT @ The Patio
04/20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ State Room
04/22 – Boise, ID @ Modern (early show)
04/22 – Boise, ID @ Linen Building (late show)
04/23 – Kennewick, WA @ Red Room
04/24 – Pendleton, OR @ Great Pacific