Cat's Cradle

Haw River Ballroom


Feb
19 Sat
Image for John Moreland, with Will Johnson

John Moreland, with Will Johnson

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $17.00
DAY OF: $20.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: February 19, 2022 12:00 AM to February 19, 2022 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: October 29, 2021 10:00 AM to February 19, 2022 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
This is a seated show.

Over the last half a dozen years or so, John Moreland’s honesty has stunned us––and stung. As he put hurts we didn’t even realize we had or shared into his songs, we sang along. And we felt better. But there has always been far more to Moreland than sad songs. Today, his earthbound poetry remains potent, but in addition to his world-weary candor, Moreland’s music smolders with gentle wisdom, flashes of wit and joy, and compassion. And once again, as we listen, we feel better.


“I can’t dress myself up and be some folk singer character that I’m not really,” Moreland says. “I figured, I can’t dress up these songs and try to sell them that way. All I can do is be me.”


Out February 2020, his latest album LP5 proves John Moreland has gotten really good at being John Moreland––thank God. A masterful display of songwriting by one of today’s best young practitioners of the art form, LP5 is Moreland’s finest record to date. The album’s experimentations with instrumentation and sounds capture an artist whose confidence has grown, all without abandoning the hardy roots rock bed and the lyrics-first approach Moreland’s work demands. “I feel like just this year, in the past few months, I’ve reached a point where I feel like I know what I’m doing here now,” he says. “And I feel comfortable with it.”


There was a time when Moreland thought LP5 may not happen. Wary of expectations and his cemented status as a writer’s writer and critical darling, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Moreland found writing difficult at best––and completely undesirable at worst. “I’m hesitant to talk about it because I know people don’t want to hear some dude complaining that his dream of being a successful musician came true, but there are things about it that you don’t expect that can mess you up,” Moreland says. “One of the results of that was I really didn’t want to write songs for a couple of years.” He pauses and sighs. “One of the ways I got back into liking music again was to let go of the idea that every time I’d go mess around with an instrument, I’d have to be writing a really good song. I just gave myself the freedom to go into my little music room every day and mess around with different instruments and different sounds. It doesn’t have to be anything. It doesn’t have to result in anything.”


Moreland points to that liberating rediscovery as a major influence on the sonic choices that shape LP5. There is no grand or alarming stylistic departure here––just different textures and background layers that add muscly new dimensions to Moreland’s heretofore instrumentally sparse recordings. The record also marks Moreland’s first time working with a producer. He chose Matt Pence. “I wouldn’t say that he pushed me into trying anything that I didn’t already want to do, but I think I came in with a lot of ideas that I found interesting but didn’t know how to execute. Matt was great at expanding on those things,” Moreland says.


For Moreland, falling back in love with music also coincided with an even more personal change. “This past year, I’ve been getting into mindfulness and being kinder to myself,” he says. “I was really on that wave when I started writing these songs. I guess it shows.”
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Mar
19 Sat
Image for Langhorne Slim (Solo)

Langhorne Slim (Solo)

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:30 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $25.00
DAY OF: $30.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: March 19, 2022 12:00 AM to March 19, 2022 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: December 17, 2021 10:00 AM to March 19, 2022 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

Langhorne Slim didn’t write a song for more than a year. A battle with clinical anxiety disorder and prescription drug abuse, which came to a head in 2019, had dimmed the light within. The man who once seemed to ooze spontaneity was now creatively adrift, stumbling along in the fog. Knowing he was struggling to write songs and make sense of it all, Slim was finally able to flesh out a throwaway ditty one afternoon. His close friend Mike then suggested he try penning a song a day. Slim didn’t like the idea, but he gave it a shot.
 
To his surprise, the songs came. In a flurry of stream-of-consciousness writing, the new tunes tumbled out, one after another, like little starbursts of joy, gifts from the gods you might say.  Slim was tuning out the noise and finding beauty in the madness of a world coming undone. Over the course of a couple of months from March to May 2020, Slim penned more than twenty that were certified keepers. These songs make up his new album, Strawberry Mansion, which is being released this winter on Dualtone Records.
 
The road to Strawberry Mansion, which was recorded at Daylight Sound in Nashville with longtime compadres Paul DeFigilia (Avett Brothers) and Mat Davidson (Twain), began in 2019 with Slim’s decision to get sober. That experience and his ongoing recovery program have given him a framework for grappling with the personal demons that have always skulked in the shadows, and helped him find light in the void.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube


Apr
6 Wed
Image for Black Midi, with NNAMDÏ

Black Midi, with NNAMDÏ

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $20.00
DAY OF: $22.00

TICKET SALE DATES
DAY OF Public Onsale: April 6, 2022 12:00 AM to April 6, 2022 6:00 PM
ADVANCED Public Onsale: May 21, 2021 10:00 AM to April 6, 2022 12:00 AM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
No second album syndrome and no sophomore slump for Britain’s most exciting and challenging young rock band. black midi’s follow up to Schlagenheim is a dynamic, hellacious, inventive success. Cavalcade, their second studio album for Rough Trade, scales beautiful new heights, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.

The meaning of the word cavalcade is a procession of people, such as a royal parade, and black midi picture their new album as a line of larger than life figures – from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich – strolling seductively past them. The album art – again, another intricate collage created by David Rudnick – brings this idea colourfully to life, drawing the listener inexorably into this mysterious world, reinforcing the idea that Cavalcade is a glorious collection of stories just waiting to be dived into.

Geordie Greep, the band’s mercurial guitarist and primary singer explains the fundamentals of Cavalcade: “A big thing on this album is the emphasis on third person stories, and theatrical ones at that.” Cameron Picton, the inventive bassist and occasional singer agrees: “When you’re listening to the album you can almost imagine all the characters form a sort of cavalcade. Each tells their story one by one and as each track ends they overtake you, replaced by the next in line.” Morgan Simpson, the powerhouse drummer advises: “Enjoy it, live with it, spend some time living in it.” When pressed to choose one word to describe the album, Geordie elects for “drama” adding: “The emphasis when we were making and sequencing Cavalcade was to make music that was as dramatic and as exciting as possible. The flow has the feel of a story, which is rewarding to listen to.”

But the record is dynamic in its musical ambition above all else. black midi listen widely and deeply not just to rock and jazz but to hip hop, electronic dance music, classical, ambient, prog, experimental... And their ethos is simple according to Geordie: “We just combine lessons learned from all of this music to make something that’s very interesting to listen to and something that is brand new.” They are quick to bat away any suggestion that it’s a risky strategy drawing from such a wide source of influences, that the resultant eclectic mix of influences could produce something resembling a mad man’s breakfast. Geordie says simply: “If you worry about that before you start you’re limiting yourself. You have to try because you could either end up with a madman’s breakfast or you could end up with a fantastic kaleidoscope and the only way to find out which one it’s going to be is to try. If you fail, so what? Try again.”

Ground was broken on Cavalcade in those now weird seeming pre-pandemic days of 2019. Songs that had been brewing since the release of Schlagenheim in July began muscling their way onto set lists and finally became individual entities by October, getting refined in between an extensive world tour and a scorching turn at the Mercury Prize ceremony. Early in 2020, the fourth member of black midi from the original line up, guitarist/vocalist Matt Kwasniewski- Kelvin, told the other three that he needed some time away from the group due to problems with his mental health. They went on to play several live dates as a trio augmented by saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi and keyboard player Seth Evans. This hook up felt right and the pair feature prominently on Cavalcade.

Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Apr
15 Fri
Image for Shovels & Rope: The Manticore Tour, with Jeremie Albino

Shovels & Rope: The Manticore Tour, with Jeremie Albino

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information
TICKET PRICES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
ADVANCED: $25.00
DAY OF: $28.00

TICKET SALE DATES
ADVANCED Public Onsale: October 22, 2021 10:00 AM to April 15, 2022 12:00 AM
DAY OF Public Onsale: April 15, 2022 12:00 AM to April 15, 2022 6:00 PM

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION

As the Brontë sister wrote, “The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine.” Shovels & Rope, the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, embody that bond. Married for a decade, their covenant extends to blood and beyond: as parents, bandmates, and creative collaborators who can now add the pursuits of festival curators, film subjects, and children’s book authors to that mighty list. Having released four studio albums and two collaborative projects (Busted Jukebox, Vol. 1 & 2) since 2008, Trent and Hearst have built their reputation on skill, sweat, and, yes, blood. Now, with the tough and elegant new record By Blood, as well as their High Water Festival in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, “Shovels & Rope: The Movie”, and the picture book “C’mon Utah!”, Shovels & Rope are primed for their biggest year yet.

Accomplished musicians in their own right prior to dedicating themselves full time to Shovels & Rope in 2011, Trent and Hearst have made a career together by seizing opportunities and never resting on their laurels or being complacent in doing something just because. Carving out a niche in the music world with strong, roots/indie/folk/rock-inspired efforts like 2012’s O’ Be Joyful, 2014’s Swimmin’ Time, and 2016’s inward-looking Little Seeds, as well as their powerful live show, far-reaching tours, and myriad TV and festival appearances, Shovels & Rope have earned the right to follow their own muse. And so, in an effort to satisfy their numerous creative interests and adapt to a changing industry, Trent and Hearst have firmly planted their flag in realms beyond recording and releasing albums.

The third annual High Water Festival curated by the band will be held over a weekend in April and will bring 10,000 fans to a park in North Charleston to witness a lineup of artists comparable to some of the best in the country—including Leon Bridges, The Head & The Heart, Lord Huron, Jenny Lewis, Mitski, and Shovels & Rope themselves. High Water benefits select organizations and water conservation charities in Charleston and aims to avoid the feeling of corporate inundation and discomfort that plagues many big-name music events. Trent and Hearst work with production companies and agencies to book acts, then serve as on-site hosts in addition to performing throughout the weekend.

“Shovels & Rope: The Movie” is a performance film that has been expanded into feature-length with an external narrative weaving through and connecting the live performances. Directed by their frequent visual collaborator, Curtis Millard, the ‘live show’ portion of the filming took place over two nights at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, during the tour for Little Seeds. The rest of the film was shot in various locations in and around the Southeast. The result can be described as a David Lynch meets John Hughes (a fun, silly, and tongue-in-cheek film for fans to enjoy that also represents the band at the peak of their live power.)

The children’s book, “C’mon Utah!”, sets the lyrics from the new song of the same name to illustrations by the artist Julio Cotto. It is an inspirational story, set in the future aftermath of the building and subsequent destruction of the southern border wall. The separated and displaced families are figuring out how to start to put the pieces back together. Communities form to organize and support each other.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Apr
22 Fri
Image for Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten

Saxapahaw, NC
United States
Doors at 7:30 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
 More Information

PERFORMANCE DESCRIPTION
Sharon Van Etten’s Remind Me Tomorrow comes four years after Are We There, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force. With curling low vocals and brave intimacy, Remind Me Tomorrow is an ambitious album that provokes our most sensitive impulses: reckless affections, spirited nurturing, and tender courage.

"I wrote this record while going to school, pregnant, after taking the OA audition,” says Van Etten. "I met Katherine Dieckmann while I was in school and writing for her film. She’s a true New Yorker who has lived in her rent controlled west village apartment for over 30 years. Her husband lives across the hall. They raised two kids this way. When I expressed concern about raising a child as an artist in New York City, she said ‘you're going to be fine. Your kids are going to be fucking fine. If you have the right partner, you’ll figure it out together.'” Van Etten goes on, “I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair and I feel like a mess, but I'm here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions." The reality is Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time: in scraps of hours wedged between myriad endeavors — Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, and brought her music onstage in David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks. Off-screen, she wrote her first score for Katherine Dieckmann’s movie Strange Weather and the closing title song for Tig Notaro’s show Tig. She goes on, “The album title makes me giggle. It occurred to me one night when I, on autopilot, clicked 'remind me tomorrow' on the update window that pops up all the time on my computer. I hadn't updated in months! And it's the simplest of tasks!”

The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through John Congleton’s arrangement. Congleton helped flip the signature Sharon Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. “I was feeling overwhelmed. I couldn't let go of my recordings - I needed to step back and work with a producer.” She continues, “I tracked two songs as a trial run with John [Jupiter 4 and Memorial Day]. I gave him Suicide, Portishead, and Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree as references and he got excited. I knew we had to work together. It gave me the perspective I needed. It’s going to be challenging for people in a good way." The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound.

For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. When she was writing the score for Strange Weather her reference was Ry Cooder, so she was playing her guitar constantly and getting either bored or getting writer's block. At the time, she was sharing a studio space with someone who had a synthesizer and an organ, and she wrote on piano at home, so she naturally gravitated to keys when not working on the score - to clear her mind. Remind Me Tomorrow shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

 Public Onsale:
12:00 AM
Apr 22, 2022

Haw River Ballroom

1711 Saxapahaw-bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, NC
United States