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There is change in the air. Not only are the seasons changing where we live, but I’m witnessing a musical change too. Maybe not so much a change, but I’m witnessing people engaging in a wider range of musical styles. For someone like me, who considers an ideal Sunday to have the doors and windows open, cooking breakfast and playing the Oh Brother! Where Art Thou? soundtrack, I can’t be more happy about it. Most of our social outings involve so much loud music that being able to absorb the emotion of a simple song, a story or just one classical guitarist is the perfect balance to all the heaviness of the rest of the world.

I was hired at Lightning in a Bottle this year to assist with the Grand Artique. On Saturday night, I was charged as stage manager and two of the acts I worked with turned out to be my favorite acts of the weekend: WC Thornbush’s Great American Show and The Wild Reeds. Where WC Thornbush brought a raucous throwback show reminiscent of dust bowl revivals and political rallies, The Wild Reeds blew me away with powerful yet delicate harmonies, emotional and inspiring vocals and really beautiful and personal stage performance. Immediately after their show I asked for a CD to purchase, which the obliged and sold me an advance copy of their then forth-coming album, Blind and Brave.

The Wild Reeds soundcheck at LIB • Grand Artique Stage • A.o.K. Photography
The Wild Reeds soundcheck at LIB • Grand Artique Stage • A.o.K. Photography

Buying an album of a band you just heard for the first time is a coin toss. I don’t necessarily want it to sound exactly what I just heard, but what I want is to make me feel similar. Blind and Brave did this for me. Kicking off with “Where I’m Going,” which starts with a stomping declaration:

“You think you know where I’m going,
the truth is I haven’t got a clue
one thing I know where I’m going,
there won’t be another you”

The three part harmonies of Kinsey, Mack and Sharon, backed by drummer and bass player Nick and Jason, build to a floating yet climatic release that drops eventually back down and drops into one of my favorite songs ever recorded, “Let No Grief.” I’ve listened to this song at least 500 times. Not exaggerating here. Instead of describing it, I’ll leave a teaser video below (this version is without drums and bass).

The title track and first single, “Blind and Brave,” follows “Let No Grief” perfectly. They released an incredible video (below) and the production on the album on this track lends to a more successful single in my eyes. It’s a beautiful song, less somber than “Let No Grief,” yet without lacking the emotional power of it’s predecessor.

Other notable tracks on Blind and Brave include the old-timey shuffle of “Love Letter;” “Judgement,” a haunting track which moves like a steam engine in it’s chugging chorus, then dropping into a mellow verses as if slowing down to keep itself from derailing due to speed. “Lock and Key” drops the listener off on the singers beckoning for “courage to carry me across the danger.”

Really excited to see The Wild Reeds again. They support Noah Gunderson at Cargo inside Whitney Peak Hotel on November 23rd. This is a seated show and tickets are limited. Visit www.cargoreno.com or the front desk of Whitney Peak Hotel for tickets. This is an all ages show.