I’ve become a firm believer in the assumption that men with beards like to sing sad songs, and most of the time I’m right. Usually the soft ramblings of The Cave Singers go best with whiskey, ice, and memories of a time when you were less alone, but as with all assumptions, once in a while, they come up to be exceptionally disproven. Though I did not expect to dance. The Cave Singers’ albums are ones you play on frosty mornings when you’re waiting for someone to come home, the music translates so differently in a live setting. So when walking into the show, I did expect to experience some lovely, lovely resonance.
BoneHoof opened, and if I were to be perfectly honest I would say that I’ve never heard of them before. From what I’ve looked up they seem fairly new, and played rather well despite of the inexperience. They’re kind of exactly what I like about folk music – that it sings of humanity better than any other. It reminds that you’re not the only person in this world who’s trying to make some good things happen, and the lead singer – Chris Lloyd – was really quite charming. He has hands like birds, which shape his face when he sings, as if he is not exactly there in the moment but elsewhere. The best thing a new band can invoke within an individual is curiosity, and they did succeed in that.
Then, The Cave Singers. I might start by saying that I have a propensity towards people whose looks do not resemble their voice. Pete quirk looks like a rainy-living, wood-burning, steaks and beer kind of man, a man who more often than not relies simply on plain dumb luck to get him through his days. But his voice is wise, and true, and when he says, “every song I’ve ever heard ever-clear was just out of focus,” you believe him. and damn, did he use that voice. They played loud, and they played with a powerful human energy that compelled you to move, to take the body you were given and throw it into the swell of sound. Maybe it was the fault of rubied lights from the nightclub ceiling, but songs of living like lonely men became something to stomp to. That’s the wonderful thing.
If I were to say anything that sounds like criticism, it’s just that I like it when musicians give in to a conversation with the audience, like just to talk, to continue the feeling that one gets sometimes from just one song. Anyway, though, that doesn’t matter, because quirk has some of the best goddamn dance moves I’ve seen. The only thing that held me back from climbing up on the stage and getting my step on with him is my unfortunate height.
The thing is that the three men that make up The Cave Singers appear like such an unlikely sight, but man, they seem like brothers. When members of a band vibe off of each other so well, you know the music’s just gotta be good. These are men who have been through something tough together, spent thanksgiving together, pushed one another’s cars out of ditches, and at the end of the day, write and play inspired, soaring music together.