Grinding Tapes Recording Company logo, made by local artist and good friend Joanna Heath.
I worked a half day at work on Friday, napped off some of whatever sick thing I have, then drove up to Andover to see a house show.
My friend Jason of Grinding Tapes Recording Company hosted musician Elijah Wyman for an intimate house show Friday night. Now I jokingly call it the "Grinding Tapes House" because while Jason does own the house, he hasn't moved in full time yet. So right now the house exists for house parties, recording studios, and concerts.
Elijah is a longtime friend of Jason and a great artist. Such good friends that when Elijah was going through some terrible health problems a few years ago, Jason donated one of his kidneys to him to save his life. This was all happening about the time I met Jason and his girlfriend, Joanna. But back to tonight's concert.
When I first got there, there was a lot of mixing and mingling, wii, and discussing music. The house was filled with all sorts of instruments, either driven up by Elijah himself or had migrated to the house by other local artists to help with recording. Many of these were played on at various parts of the evening. Elijah probably started playing at about 9:30, and played a set of about 5-6 songs. Most songs were Elijah and a guitar, but one of the songs that will be appearing on his next album involved a banjo, a flute, and a chorus of friends singing.
It was very good to see him back up north to work on recording his album as well as performing. I also like Elijah's songs, as they combine pretty melodies with great verbal play. His lyrics draw on strong imagery and a heavy dose of wit and humor.
His next show in these parts is quite exciting, as it will be at Club Passim in Harvard Square at the end of July. Club Passim is a big deal for artists in the folk genre, and the club has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell. I will certainly be at that show, and will give a full report in July.
Until then, Grinding Tapes has a series of Showcases in the works at clubs in the Boston area in the works, though nothing is cemented yet. These have been happening once a month or so all fall and winter, and have been very well attended and a good way to get the artists on the label out and performing. I'll mention when the next show will be here.