WHO: Daniel Bachman
WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 2015
WHERE: House show in Eastern Market area, Detroit
There's nothing like getting a text from a visiting musician friend to tell you that they're playing a house party that evening, and can they crash at your place. So you get your place ready, show up and of course are on the list, but then you do not have to put that friend up after all, because it turns out that the person putting the show on is going to have him crash there.
This exciting story is how I found out that the wiz kid of acoustic guitar virtuosity, Daniel Bachman, played a show in a very lovely converted industrial space near Eastern Market. The room was warm, inviting, and the small P.A. was adequate. As house parties go, this was a swell, grown-up one. The sets by Ignatz, who was visiting from Belgium, and Bachman, who lives in North Carolina, were both a bit too short, but I prefer that. Both were exhilarating.
Bram Devens a.k.a. Ignatz, played first. Dude is a Belgian who plays acoustic guitar and sings. Both the guitar and the vocals get subtly processed with effects, through his own small mixing board. His voice is pleasant, and it's hard to make out the words. His sound is intentionally distorted and finely-tuned. Even though it's acoustic based, I kept being reminded of the work of Flying Saucer Attack, if that could somehow be "unplugged," and in an idiom far more indebted to Bert Jansch than Popol Vuh. A few songs had the same gentle intensity of Tom Rapp, and the only bummer was that now I have to seek out another person's records.
Daniel Bachman keeps getting better and better, as even the briefest listen to his brand new album on Three Lobed will attest. Hunched over his acoustic guitar or standing upright as he played his Weissenborn (an acoustic, Hawaiian style lap steel slide guitar), it seemed like Bachman himself got lost in his sometimes dense melodies, which overlapped with each other and returned throughout the pieces. Bachman's not so much a raga guy, though he can do those well enough. His songs feel less like psychedelic penetrations of your sole and more like well-worn stories that you might have heard dozens of times before but you love to hear them told just the way he tells them. It's hard to believe he's only 26 years-old.
Here's hoping both these dudes return soon!