Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Upcoming Show: Chris Black, Low End String Quartet

Here's my press blurb for a very very very cool show that's coming up soon (Sunday, March 18) featuring Chris Black (bassist from Golden Arm Trio). He's driving all the way from Texas so I really need to get an audience for this one... please come out and tell your friends about it. The music is going to be dy-no-mite. Chris' songs are really great - dark / americana with some Tom Waits sort of aspects and some old-time blues aspects - and some drunkenness and lechery thrown in for good measure.

Oh, and I'm playing too... with my new string quartet.

Chris Black Photo

Improv Arts, Inc. presents:

Fiddling on the Fat Strings
featuring Chris Black and The Low End String Quartet

Who: Chris Black (from Austin, Texas), and the Low End String Quartet
When: Sunday, March 18, 2007, 9:00pm, $7
Where: Warehouse Next Door, 1017 7th Street NW, Washington DC 20001

“Bass! how low can you go?”
-- Chuck D

The bass violin goes by many names: Contrabass, Double Bass, Stand-up Bass, etc. Call it whatever you like, the important thing is that it sounds so damn good. Spend an evening with a few basses, and some of their smaller-stringed cousins.

Chris Black has played nearly every instrument you don't blow into with nearly every conflagration of degenerate sound junkies within shouting distance, starting out as upright bassist for Shoulders back in the early 90's. From there, he hopped continents and sat in with Parisian rockers Les Wampas for a couple of records and tours before returning to Texas to pursue his love of gambling. In 2000 he met Graham Reynolds of the Golden Arm Trio, and toured around the country as upright bassist and guitarist for that hair-raising improvisational eutastrophe.

“Jericho” is Chris Black's first solo release, and was recorded in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms in Austin and Los Angeles with upright basses, banjos, guitars, accordions, kick drums, fiddles, pianos, saw blades, brake drums, tambourines and maracas acquired by chance, in situ, ad hoc, and Amen.

He's now in the midst of a national tour promoting the record. For his live solo show, Chris plays with an upright bass, overdriven acoustic guitar, banjo, and an assortment of other instruments. He loops the music live and on the fly, creating sounds and rhythms to sing against. It is boomy, dark, abused and simple. His songs are soaked in booze, sadness, and redemption.

Opening the show, will be the debut performance of the Low End String Quartet, an ensemble formed by composer / guitarist Jonathan Matis. The instrumentation differs from the standard string quartet model, adding a bass, dropping a violin, and swapping a guitar where the viola should be. This “new and improved” string quartet lineup is much better suited to clubs and bars than the classical model, and better equipped for rumbling your ribcage.

The group is staffed by a diverse bunch: jazz bassist Dan Barbiero; classical (although quite eclectic) cellist Jodi Beder; Matis on guitar, bringing his mixed bag of avant-rock, jazz, and post-classical influences; and another classical veteran, Andrea Vercoe on violin. They intend to rock.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I went to your show at the Warehouse Sunday night and just wanted to let you know that you guys rocked. Do you have any other performances lined up in the DC area? If you do it'd be so excellent if you could e-mail me with when and such. (twotone_elephant@hotmail.com)

You guys were so awesome!