Down under the train tracks, as the day outside is swallowed by darkness, Mount Washington-via-Brooklyn singer-songwriter Kevin Morby and his band waltz onto Green Door Store‘s snug stage. Illuminated by the small cobbled room’s homely burnt orange glow, Morby is sensational from the get-go this evening, proving himself to be light years ahead of some of his folk peers with a stellar performance that wears influencers Dylan, Young and Reed on its sleeve.
Sporting a cowboy bootlace tie and peering out from under shaggy, sweat-laced corkscrew locks, he opens with a wondrously hypnotic ‘Cut Me Down’, which casts the room into hushed silence and invites each attendee to hang off its every word. The other songs from this year’s glorious LP ‘Singing Saw’ follow suit: the souped-up ‘Destroyer’ sounds stupendous in the flesh, ‘I Have Been to the Mountain’ shuffles to a spiritual summit and the creeping album title track tantalises and thrills with its surreal storytelling and masterful musicianship.
Best of all, however, is an unnamed new song that is played by Morby minus his magnificent supporting cast. With just a sparse slow-winding chord progression for backing, it features the poignant line “Pray for Paris, they cannot scare us or stop the music”, which hints that the more abstract and fantastical lyrical themes of much of his work to-date may be sidelined in favour of something more of this world and political. Whichever road Kevin Morby takes from here, the 28-year-old former Woods and The Babies man can count on tonight’s Brighton congregation to be there next time he rolls into town.