September is the beginning of the end of summer. Students go back to school, vacation days are all used, and the days get a bit shorter.
But that’s no reason to mourn. This month’s slate features a wealth of seasoned musicians who channel the quiet surrender of the cooler months. All three can be categorized loosely as folk, but they approach the genre with their own sensibilities. So, let’s embrace the arrival of autumn together and check out some great live music this month.
WOVENHAND, 9/3, 9PM, H*MAC HERR STREET STAGE, $15:
Dark and brooding, the music of Wovenhand reflects a spirituality and weariness that is oddly refreshing when compared to the saccharine-sweet offerings of other religiously informed folk musicians. This musical project, now almost 15 years old, is driven by the creativity of lead singer and guitarist David Eugene Edwards. In a way befitting its name, Wovenhand deftly interweaves diverse styles, such as traditional folk, post-rock and industrial, creating a tapestry of sounds that is deeply moody and affecting. This show is a perfect pairing for the gradual transition from the sunshine of summer towards the long nights of winter.
VIKING MOSES, ST. BRENDAN & THE NAVIGATORS & HOT MESS, 9/11, 7PM, LITTLE AMPS DOWNTOWN, $5 SUGGESTED DONATION:
Another moody folk singer, Viking Moses, the musical nom de plume of the Baltimore-based Brendon Massei, has been touring almost constantly since 2003. His music reflects his wandering troubadour lifestyle, channeling the hard-living Americana of Depression-era folk singers like Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. He will be joined by local musicians, including the Philly/Harrisburg joint venture St. Brendan & the Navigators and Hot Mess, which hails from Carlisle.
JOHN GORKA, 9/25, 8PM, MIDTOWN SCHOLAR, $25:
A bit more traditional, John Gorka has been performing his folk music since the late ‘70s. A storyteller at heart, he uses his gentle, unassuming voice and quiet, guitar-driven arrangements to tell poignant tales about those he loves. He’s garnered the attention of leading critics, once being called the voice of the new folk movement by Rolling Stonemagazine. A mainstay on the stages of this nation’s folk festivals, he will be stepping into a fitting setting at the Scholar, as he is a kindred spirit of the good, well-worn books that will surround his performance.
Mentionables: Sofia Talvik, 9/3, The Millworks; Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, 9/4, Abbey Bar; Jon Shain, 9/11, Midtown Scholar; Wayne Hancock, 9/23, H*MAC Herr Street Stage; Jeffrey Gaines & Freedy Johnston, 9/24, H*MAC Herr Street Stage