Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
May 18, 2012
06:00 AMBe There
Spree Music with J. DiDomizio: Pearl and the Beard
On April 22nd, Ani DiFranco played to a sold out crowd in Asbury Hall, and by the time she took the stage, the audience had already been treated to a heck of a performance. The opening band, Pearl and the Beard, had put on an impressive and fun set of Americana and gospel influenced pop, which engaged a chatty and still growing crowd. They were fun, energetic, and thrillingly catchy with their energy, harmonies, and handclaps. The trio from Brooklyn (Jocelyn Mackenzie, Emily Hope Price, and Jeremy Styles), were so entertaining and energetic, that I rushed to their merchandise table before Ani’s (always wonderful) set in order to pick up their most recent record, Killing the Darlings.
Made up of guitar, cello, and percussion supplemented by a myriad of other instruments, Pearl and the Beard’s most alluring instrument is their vocal harmonies. Soaring and slinking across each track on the album, while maintaining a tight focus, the group’s vocals can go from light to dark, while always maintaining a warm, sensual feel. Take a listen to “Sweetness” and see what I mean:
As if these harmonies weren’t enough, the band appeared to be having fun throughout their entire set. By matching their pitch-perfect harmonies, their musical articulation, and their contagious energy, Pearl and the Beard bring a playfulness that makes good music great. That’s not to say all of their music is a sing-a-long good time, more that even in their gentler moments, they’ve imbued their songs with emotion and warmth. “Prodigal Daughter”—off of Killing the Darlings—is a good example of the band at its most introspective.
Pearl and the Beard return to Buffalo to close out their short Midwest tour, playing Babeville’s Ninth Ward before embarking on a tour of the UK for the summer. Headliners this time around, they’ll be supported by SarahRose and the Storyville Players. If you missed the show in April, make it a point to see them on May 18; it’ll be a good show, and you just might have as much fun as the band.
Joseph DiDomizio is a writer, filmmaker, and sometimes a musician. He has been writing about music, movies, books and pop-culture for several years. You can follow him on Twitter if you’d like.