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Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Maldives @ the Tractor

posted by on June 7 at 10:56 AM


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.

RSS icon Comments


Agreed, they rocked mightily. Great show. And yeah, I decided Tim must be part Allman or something. There was some serious, unironic Guitar Rock being thrown down last night, and it ruled.

Posted by Levislade | June 7, 2007 11:11 AM

Oh, and I counted 7 on stage, including the ridiculously talented Tomo Nakayama filling in on the drums.

Posted by Levislade | June 7, 2007 11:21 AM

i couldnt remember if it was six or seven, and i forgot to write it down. so there were two guitarists, plus fiddle and banjo, plus drums and bass, plus lead singer?

Posted by jz | June 7, 2007 12:33 PM

Let's see: lead vox/acoustic guitar, lead guitar, guit/keys, keys/banjo, fiddle, bass, drums.

Yeah, 'twas a crowded stage.

Posted by Levislade | June 7, 2007 12:58 PM

the hobo is the ubiquitous kevin barrans (hideous thieves, seattle mopeds)!

Posted by right on | June 7, 2007 1:52 PM

Awesome dudes playing rad music. Handsome Family were pretty great as well - I loved the banter and the obvious comfortable love they shared. Rad to see.

Posted by rpecknold | June 7, 2007 3:52 PM

How bout the stash on the Maldives frontman? Looks just like Jason Lee, and his name is Jason too! I almost called him Earl. They are the shit. Rosyvelt totally impressed me as well. I liked the handsome family but could have done without the programmed beats - that is NOT country!!! The tractor has a really awesome sound and it was a fun night.

Posted by Eric | June 7, 2007 4:29 PM

Yeah, Maldives rules. Kevin Barrans has a posse! I mean, a band. Not only is a member of Hideous Thieves and the on-hiaatus Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, and he plays Banjo and sings in a gospel and appalatian country inspired outfit. They go by his name, and the band features locals like Seth Warren, Chris Benson and Joel Cuplin. awesome old timey.

Posted by bitchcakes | June 7, 2007 6:02 PM

I'm bummed I missed that. I've seen the Maldives here and there quite a few times now and they never fail to (country) rock out. I, too am a big fan of the stache...most kinds of facial hair, really.

Posted by HRH | June 7, 2007 7:55 PM

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