In Concert: Kevin Morby

It is, undoubtedly, cowboy chic personified at The Great Hall.

A bolo dangles between Kevin Morby‘s cream-coloured jacket as his guitar fills every inch of the venue. This is one of those our-little-secret shows, yielding bragging rights because you were there.

He’s in town supporting his recent album, Singing Saw, a collection of songs described as Dylan meets Leonard Cohen. Similarly, comparisons to Kurt Vile wouldn’t be far off, either. This is music that sweeps you up and steals your heart on the sly.

Morby 2

Photo by Myles Herod

What kick starts the evening is “Cut Me Down,” the first track off the new record. Like sandpaper and honey, Morby’s lyrics stick to you, but not always gently. He commands the room’s undivided attention with the lonely side of living.

Morby’s confidence shines like a steel guitar.

A needle hitting the floor could turn heads here. Fittingly, a heavenly slide guitar takes its place and magnificently soars. The effortless twang comes courtesy of prairie rose guitarist, Meg Duffy.

Morby 3

Photo by Myles Herod

For the hour set, the room transcends any markings of contemporary giveaways. Simply a man and his band, you could come in blindfolded and scare yourself into thinking you have time warped.

This is music that sweeps you up and steals your heart on the sly.

Kevin Morby’s confidence shines like a steel guitar. It’s the relatability of his music, both soulful and simple, that has attracted the diverse crowd. A quick survey reveals not only dads bobbing their heads, but sections of flannel covered couples transfixed. They seem to be in awe of the extended jams that galvanize Morby’s raspy croon.

Morby 4

Photo by Myles Herod

The backing band delivers his album flawlessly, including flourishes of piano and maracas. Winding the show down, they exit, leaving Morby solo, with heart on sleeve, performing Townes Van Zandt’s “No Place To Fall.”┬áIt’s the kind of parting, tumbleweed image that might inspire him to write a song, were he in the audience watching all by his lonesome self.