Wed Sep 2 2009
Photograph: Jean Alcide
Mercury Lounge; Wed 9
Okay, in the style of those Amazon recommendo-things: If you like Bon Iver, you will like A.A. Bondy. If you bought the last Conor Oberst album, you will like A.A. Bondy. Fans of the Low Anthem will also like A.A. Bondy. And the funny thing is that all those musicians are actually A.A. Bondy fans themselves.
Bondy was born and raised in Louisiana (the A.A. stands for Auguste Arthur; unwritten law says you have to make music if your name is that good), fronted the band Verbena, then released his solo debut, American Hearts, in 2007. On the strength of those dusty, contemplative songs, Bondy’s rep grew: He played Conan, got signed to Fat Possum (the ace blues label that’s also home to Andrew Bird) and has just released a new one, When The Devil’s Loose. How’s it sound? Kind of bluesy, a little folksy, with a smidgen of ’50s rock & roll—and Bondy’s soft, rough voice at the center.
It’s an old-fashioned-sounding record, and Bondy seems like an old-fashioned kind of fellow. Of the album’s recording in Mississippi, he writes, “The days grew longer and the snakes began to wake up. I ate catfish and walked around a lot. We got a lot of rain and the weeds grew at an alarming rate. We finished work one night under a red moon.”
Bearing that in mind, we’ll tweak our recommendation accordingly: Midnight ramblers, watchers of black-and-white movies on rainy days and folks who get melancholy at the fall’s first brown leaves—you will likely love this show.—Sophie Harris