Yearning and heartfelt, Courtney Marie Andrews’s new record Honest Songs is the sixth of her career and her most critically acclaimed to date. The album is folk and country through-and-through, replete with the familiar instrumentation of that genre: warm acoustics, mournful slide guitar, loose drumming, and Telecaster twang. Andrews has been playing shows and steadily releasing material since the age of 16. She’s also served as a backing musician for big names like Damien Jurado and (a little unexpectedly) Jimmy Eat World. The ten tracks of Honest Songs are a clear indication that she’s been putting her prodigious and hard-won talents to use.
Her lyrics evince a wisdom won from years of playing taverns, restaurants, and sidewalks before gaining recognition. In “Rookie Dreaming,” she is “on the hunt for visions out of reach,” “too busy carrying the weight of everything”. The beauty of Honest Songs and her appearance on several year-end lists are signs that she’s starting to find what she’s been searching for. Her latest collaboration is with Will Oldham, the Bonnie Prince himself. Together, they covered Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” for Consequence of Sound’s Our First 100 Days series.
M. Lockwood Porter of Berkeley will be rounding out the bill. Porter is beginning to be recognized as a talented and prolific Americana songwriter in his own right, having played sizeable local festivals like Outside Lands and Noise Pop. His newest album, How To Dream Again, is driven by his rough-hewn yet youthful voice through both uptempo rockers and contemplative acoustic tracks. Porter feels like part of a recent revival of alt-country that he shares with other harmonica-toting, wistfully melancholic artists like Joe Pug. It’s a welcome return of the seminal genre pioneered by Wilco and Son Volt.
Show opener Field Medic is local Kevin Sullivan’s solo project. Usually of the raucous Rin Tin Tiger, Sullivan will be exploring his slower material, which channels gorgeous visions of love affairs and American landscapes. Conjured with only an acoustic guitar, a banjo, Sullivan’s delicate voice, and the occasional drum machine, Field Medic’s sense of lo-fi nostalgia makes these small, tender songs feel like something special.
As the sun starts to show itself more often around San Francisco, it’s the perfect time to catch the sounds of a warm country summer at the Rickshaw Stop.
Courtney Marie Andrews, M. Lockwood Porter, Field Medic
The Rickshaw Stop
April 4, 2017
8pm, $10 (21+)