The Daredevil Christopher Wright with The Sleeping Sea, Wake the Bear and The Harlequins

Feb. 18 • CS13

The Daredevil Christopher Wright is not, in fact, an Evel Knievel wannabe. Instead it is a three-piece band from Eau Claire, Wisc., the town that also brought us Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and, judging from the number of acts appearing from that small corner of the country, appears to have the highest concentration of well-trained musicians in the world. Vernon’s influence is evident in more than just DCW’s location, however, since the songster also mixed the band’s debut album, In Deference to a Broken Back, which they are currently touring nationally to support.

The sound is more diverse than that pedigree implies. The band’s songs range from pretty pieces with high falsettos and overlapping vocals that certainly suggest that they have something to do with Bon Iver and the sensitive Beard-Folk that often goes along with boys singing pretty songs (“The East Coast”) to fairly rocking numbers that hint that they may well have also been listening to groups like The National and The Strokes (“We’re Not Friends”). Taken as a whole, their prowess for telling stories with gently catching melodies most strongly calls to mind early Decemberists albums, but with less grating vocals.

In other words, this isn’t the same old shtick of talented young men playing their instruments too well and singing with ranges larger than are necessary just for the sake of showing off. Every note here is chosen for a purpose, every word contributes to the story and as a result the songs come off as both polished and sincere.

The intimate setting of CS13 seems like a perfect place to see these guys live before they come back in a year or two and play the main stage at Southgate House.

(Get show and venue details here.)

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