The Neptune, Seattle, WA, 2/17/12: I was doing my pre-show research of Mr. Jurado prior to this show and I probably got through about 60% of his huge catalog. Kudos to the guy for some serious production. He released 5 full length albums in 2006 and another 2 in 2007. That’s more material than most bands ever make in their careers. Clearly he is passionate about music. From what I heard, his passion was for putting his heart right there on the album without protection. Just him and his guitar. My preference is for one to hide his feelings a bit more behind a lot of noise and distractions. Singer/songwriter is usually not my thing. But for sure, he does it well.
His albums are sprinkled with tracks that I recognize from KEXP, usually those songs that expand a bit beyond the folksy and bring a little upbeat vibe to the track. With all of that said, the last song he played was just him and his guitar and he silenced the room save for a few folks near the bar. It was a powerful song and a powerful performance.
The more recent records I didn’t get to bring Damien closer to a sound that I enjoy, that rawk band, indie, alt/country thing that I appreciate from the likes of Wilco or My Morning Jacket, but don’t have a tons of background in. The band brought that sound to a crisp perfection that sounded great at Neumos. It was a very talented band that played with restraint while exploring a somewhat new psychedelic direction for the band.
The show was kind of making my Hippy Sense tingle, but never so much that we got into full jam band territory, there was a healthy dose of psychedelia and a bit of rocking to keep me motivated. The show had a very Washington vibe, not the Northwest, but Seattle and Washington specifically. Damien even had a sticker of the state of Washington on his guitar and pointed to it proudly.
The backup singers were a nice touch, coming on and off stage at key times, featuring Jessica Dobson of the new Shins lineup who is also releasing a debut album from her band Deep Sea Diver. One thing that got me curious is why Damien sat during the show, unless he’s got a note from his doctor, I think he should be up on his feet, but that’s just me.
All in all, a good show, always like an excuse to go to the Neptune and I am curious enough about Mr. Jurado to check out his new stuff and see what other territories he explores. Up next in my 4 shows in 14 days, Deep Sea Diver CD release show this Friday.