PitchFork Social is turning up the heat on its 2019 concert series with three shows running in the last 10 days of July at Fulford Hall.
First up on Sunday, July 21 is Willie Watson, who is known for taking traditional folk songs and giving them an original interpretation, ”passing along his own version of the music that came long before him,” as his website explains.
Watson is a former member of the acclaimed Old Crow Medicine Show, a singer and banjo player who has put out two solo albums — Folksinger Vol. 1 and Folksinger Vol. 2 — in the past five years.
“There’s so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level,” says Watson on his website. “It moves me and inspires me. I heard Leadbelly singing with the Golden Gate Quartet and it sounded fantastic, and I thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I heard the Grateful Dead doing their version of ‘On the Road Again,’ and it sounded like a dance party in 1926, and I wanted to do that, too. That’s the whole reason I ever played music in the first place — because it looked and sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.”
Sam Lewis from Nashville hits the Fulford Hall stage on Thursday, July 25, along with the Dimpker Brothers.
Lewis’ artist site bio explains that he’s collaborated with everyone from Leon Russell to The Wood Brothers, and that Chris Stapleton dubbed him “a modern Townes Van Zandt.” His music is “often labelled with some form of the word ‘soulful,’ . . . [but] Lewis’ style meets at a juncture of many different genres. There’s something about Sam Lewis that is indescribably different — and with his newest project, he’s discovered what most musicians spend lifetimes working for — the place where feel-good music meets vital social commentary.”
Lewis’ 2018 album Loversity was named to Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists to Watch list, with writer Marissa Moss describing the album as sounding like “The Black Keys meandering into ‘70s psychedelic soul, with a storyteller’s eye, a swampy Southern groove and an emotional, political punch.”
Then on Tuesday, July 30, the audience will be treated to Steve Poltz,
“[He] is part busker, part Iggy Pop and part Robin Williams, a freewheeling folkie with a quick wit and big heart,” wrote the Associated Press. “See him live and wonder why he doesn’t fill arenas.”
Poltz is a Canadian by birth and lived in San Diego for most of his career, before moving to Nashville a few years ago, where he created the album Shine On with producer Will Kimbrough (of Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell fame).
One of his signature songs is “Hey God, I’ll Trade You Donald Trump for Leonard Cohen,” which gives an idea of what the evening will be like.
All PitchFork concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. Food by Mateada is available outdoors from 6 p.m.