Last Night The Maldives @ the Tractor
posted by June 7 at 10:56 AMon
Local alt-country outfit the Maldives played an opening slot for the first night of Noise for the Needy at the Tractor Last night. I only caught four songs, but they were enough to hook me on the band’s Band/front porch blues/Buffett reel and sway. The singer had a rightly wearied voice, but it was really the nimble lead guitarist and what looked like a middle-aged bearded hobo sitting and playing banjo that really sold me.
The six-piece band was tight enough for songs to come together naturally but loose enough to ride them out shambling. First song was far more country than alt-, knee-slappin’ with banjo, fiddle, and strummy guitar, but the next number, riding smoldering slide guitar, took off into more rocking territory. Hobo switched from banjo to keys to accordion for each song, beefing up and diversifying the sound as needed. Their final tune—a sad, sweet, slow ballad—was their most powerful, evoking early-era Jimmy Buffett in its country-cum-folk easiness, the singer’s vocals and lyrics (“By the wind, sailor”) elevating the low-key arrangement.
Yes, I said Jimmy Buffett, and yes, that’s a good thing. I have a soft spot for twangy songs about sailboats.