Sunday, February 07, 2010

Anders Parker @ Club Passim

This past fall marked ten years for me living in Cambridge and Somerville, yet last night was only the second or third time I've visited Club Passim. That's probably at least in part due to the fact that, up until about a year ago when they started serving local offerings from Cambridge Brewing Company, it was a dry venue.

The occasion of my return to Passim wasn't the addition of craft beer to their menu, but instead was Anders Parker's debut at the small Harvard Square music venue. Anders was opening for popular New England singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, who happens to be married to Kris Delmhorst, an even more recognizable name in the Boston folk scene. So, most of the capacity crowd of 100+ fans—present company excluded—were not necessarily there to see Anders, but he was extremely well received.

The thing that impressed me the most about last night's crowd was that they actually listened quietly and attentively to each and every song played by both artists. I honestly thought I would never again experience such a phenomenon. In fact, it was just this past December, when KJ and I attended the Boston Pops' holiday performance, that I was dismayed by the fact that not even that crowd was capable of shutting up and listening.

Anders' set was excellent, with the highlights being an acoustic version of "Song," from his former band Varnaline's swan song, Songs in a Northern Key, and a stirring rendition of "Horses Running Over the Hills," from his latest, Skyscraper Crow. I couldn't help but feel that the rest of the crowd was equally moved by the latter performance.

This, of course, reminds me that I'm way overdue in putting together my 2009 compilation. Be patient, though, as there is good reason for its delay, as many of you are well aware. I'm targeting late March for its completion and distribution, in fact.

Last night's show also made me realize that playing to the clientele and type of venue that Club Passim has to offer is a great career move for Anders. During a backstage conversation I had with Jeff, he told me that Anders was looking to get away from the dingy indie rock club scene when the two met. So, in that respect, it seems that meeting Foucault a few years ago in Newcastle, England has been a significant boon to Parker's career. Hopefully, an upcoming collaboration with Son Volt's Jay Farrar, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, and Centro-Matic's Will Johnson, will help him to continue to increase his profile.


  1. I love Club Passim. Reminds me of going to coffee house open mic nights in high school, but one where people actually listen and the talent is there. Also the food is good! Sounds like a great show, and I can't wait to hear that collaboration combination!

  2. You went to coffee house open mic nights in high school?!?