Portland is thick with singer-songwriter types. It’s like Leonard Cohen himself gave birth to a commune of slightly weird, slightly malnourished but very well-read troubadours. I imagine they have secret dinner parties somewhere in the Hawthorne District where they talk about Denis Johnson and eat exotic couscous while smoking flavored tobacco and drinking organic beer. I’m sad I haven’t been invited yet, but I’m glad they have each other.
Shoeshine Blue is clearly an outcome of Cohen’s planting. Lovely melodies, sometimes in the form of ballads that present both sides of a less than perfect union. Led by Michael Apinyakul, Shoeshine Blue started out as a solo, one-man lo-fi bedroom recording project, delivering haunting indie-blues with spine-tingling melodies and have developed into a lush production of painstakingly crafted songwriting and loose, but perfect playing.
Their one-sheet describes Shoeshine Blue as “an indie-folk act, which melds elements of classical, blues, folk, gospel, old-time, and pop, all with an indie twist.” Yep, and I love it.
The band celebrates the release of their latest full-length, Howl At The Wooden Moon on May 24.