James Vincent McMorrow at Slim’s, 9/23

I saw Irish troubadour James Vincent McMorrow at Slim’s last Friday, and wrote about it for the Owl Mag. Check out a snippet below and read the rest here.

Everyone’s been buzzing about Bon Iver‘s show at the Greek. Berkeley’s famous amphitheater looked like a lumberjack convention: the plaid-clad masses cried, cheered, or sat in awed silence as Justin Vernon performed his haunting set. Filled with cathartic and moving moments, the sold-out concert was practically spiritual for the throngs of bearded folksters.

Or so I hear. I wasn’t at that gig, but I did see Ireland’s answer to Bon Iver: James Vincent McMorrow. Besides a smoky falsetto, the troubadours also share a penchant for isolated cabins. McMorrow’s Early In the Morning, recorded in a house by the Irish Sea, is full of accessible yet earnest folk—more upbeat and pop-oriented than For Emma or Bon Iver, but worthy of comparison nonetheless. Friday’s performance at Slim’s certainly brought out those same lumberjack wannabes who grooved to William Elliott Whitmore‘s banjo-fueled blues before the Irishman took the stage. (Yes, both acts were three-named men.)


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