Americana? Outlaw Country? Bluegrass? Whatever You Call Them, The Far West Rocks!
I had not heard of The Far West until they were booked into The Extended Play Sessions this week, but I knew after watching a few videos that their music was absolutely right up my alley.
Part bluegrass, part country, part alt-country, and part Americana (and maybe part other genres), they deliver an energetic show that is crammed with talent!
Fresh off a tour opening for Dave and Phil Alvin, they were still riding high and brought that intense energy to the Session.
Lee Briante on guitar, Robert Black on bass, Michael Whiteside on keyboard, Aaron Bakker on guitar, and Brian Bachman on drums (with Lee singing lead and all others singing harmonies) comprise The Far West.
One of their songs, ‘Bitter, Drunk and Cold’, resonated with more than a few of us! Especially the cold part, considering the winter we had in Boston…
The current configuration of The Far West is fairly recent and it works oh so well. Their on-stage chemistry is evidenced by their constant eye contact with one another, and also by how tightly they play.
Even though they don’t have a pedal steel, Aaron has figured out a way to make his guitar sound quite similar to one.
There is a lot of heartache in these songs; during the interview portion of the evening, Lee told us that he rarely pens happy songs. I don’t recall if ‘These Arms Will Be Empty’ was one of the songs they performed, but the lyric ‘So I guess I’ll just be lonely for a while’ is an example of those sad lyrics.
The band came together because of a late-night ad placed by Lee on Craigslist. Within minutes, Robert responded and the rest is history. Robert and Lee share songwriting duties, although they do not write the songs together.
I asked what went through their minds as Dave Alvin played with them during their encore at the Alvin Brothers show the previous weekend; I knew full well what their answer would be. It is rare than an opening act gets to do an encore as they were lucky enough to do; it is not considered good etiquette. Dave Alvin encouraged them to do the encore with him playing guitar. The look on all their faces as their idol took the stage with them was priceless. I am fortunate to have witnessed that moment. Hopefully there will be more for them.
I have listened to their two albums at least a dozen times in the past few days and doubt I will tire of them any time soon. The Far West should be on your radar to see live; I doubt you will regret it.
Posted on March 28, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Aaron Bakker, boston, Brian Bachman, concert photos, concert review, Country music, Extended Play Sessions, Lee Briante, Michael Whiteside, Robert Black, The Far West. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
These guys are brilliant, wonderful writers and musicians. I love that they perform so many grouchy sad songs with such joy and enthusiasm.