Kacey Johansing at the Rickshaw Stop, 5/19/10

Kacey Johansing – “Oh, Brother”

On Wednesday 5/19/2010, the Rickshaw Stop hosted a night of bands coming together to toast San Francisco singer/songwriter Kacey Johansing and the release of her debut album, Many Seasons.

The evening’s openers, The Range of Light Wilderness, brought intelligent garage pop with a good amount of laconic feeling. The band is made up of a bass player, drummer, and guitarist, all of whom share vocal duty. They use three-part harmonies and elevating repetition to create what sounds like Philip Glass’ garage band – if he had one, that is. The vibe was chill and their sound was warm. It was enough to get several patrons to sprawl out in front of the stage like it was story time.

Colorado-based Dovekins changed the pace by stomping out folk songs that borrowed from a bagful of genres. Armed with a ton of instruments, they got the crowd moving – the front of the club looked to be doing a folk hokey-pokey. These out-of-towners definitely have some chops. Their arrangements and song structure were complicated, but they tossed them off with such ease that the process was seamless. The frontman used his magnetic falsetto sparingly – often it would float over the chants of his four fellow bandmates.

There was a very intimate vibe in the club when the guest of honor, Kacey Johansing, took the stage. You could hear shouts of encouragement from all over the club. Without a doubt, this was a celebration. Johansing brought with her a six person band, a bit of a tight fit on Rickshaw’s stage. They started off with a slow burning torch song, and kept moving expertly through genres – all while keeping it their own.

They offered a new song, so new that Johansing was endearingly teaching the vocal parts to her fellow singers during the opening of the song. The song showed that the well was not dry, as it was one of the best of the evening (a mighty feat). Another standout was “Angel Island,” a song so perfectly crafted it moved along in a way that seems to be destined.

Closing the evening was Honeycomb, a San Francisco folk collective. They all looked very familiar, being that they had just finished their set playing with Johansing (who herself is part of the band). Honeycomb was a great cap to the evening: like the other bands, they borrowed from genres, but were creating something strikingly new. They are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Range the Light Wilderness at the Rickshaw Stop, 5/19/10

Dovekins at the Rickshaw Stop, 5/19/10

Kacey Johansing at the Rickshaw Stop, 5/19/10