There are a lot of bands out there and some of them suck, some of them are OK, some of them are good, and some of them are special. Those who fall into the last category often have a combination of music, image, and personal dynamics. Black Heart Moon may just be a special band.
I’ve been meaning to catch this band for a while. I know lap-steel player David Dyas and had heard from friends that I would like this project of his. And how! This Portland trio combines a mellow vibe with clever lyrics and catchy harmonies to somehow craft the soundtrack of a Portland winter night.
Portland is the Morrissey of American cities; it’s woefully misunderstood as a sad sack when in fact it’s a hilarious cad who’s in on the joke as much as it is the butt of it. The image overshadows the reality. Yes, it rains here, but not nearly as much as you’ve heard and the good news is that it doesn’t keep people from doing their thing. Rather than being this damp, dreary town awash in beards and drizzle, Portland is alive with a thousand neighborhood pubs all brimming with creativity and music. Seeing Black Heart Moon at my own local, The Alberta Street Public House, was the perfect setting to see a band that best captures my own personal experience with this city. I doubt that was by design but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that is what I saw…and heard.
What makes Black Heart Moon special though are the personal dynamics in the band. There’s a clear and honorable dedication among the band members to what they do and to each other. There’s a lot of love in the band and that can’t help but make you feel good.
Sounds like: Moody (but not necessarily sad) folk pop. Mellow guitars, lap-steel, occasional percussion and a giant bass guitar. Soft, understated harmonies and clever lyrical twists take this band beyond your standard Pacific Northwestern coffee house band and into the realm of crafty songwriters and musicians.
Catherine Odell – vocals, guitar
Perry Pfister – acoustic bass, misc. percussion
David Dyas – lap steel
Emily Moeller – viola
Check out Black Heart Moon on MySpace