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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Nothin' But A Painful Case

Today I'm posting another of my favorite songs from this year. In fact, almost everything I've posted so far has been from 2004. It's kind of a year-end ritual for me to go through the highlights of the year and come up with "best of" lists and compilations.

The name of this band is Two Gallants. Two Gallants is two kids (really, they're both 21 years old) from good ol' San Francisco. They released their debut, The Throes, in May to a flurry of stupefied critics and Dylan comparisons. As has always been true with Dylan comparisons, they're mostly unwarranted: it's to the point that any young'n who takes on traditional styles of music with an unconventional voice, acoustic instruments and a lyrical bite has Bob's name bandied their way. And that's as unfair to Dylan as it is flattering to the band. Regardless, the music Two Gallants make is actually very good. I would call them a little on the underdeveloped side still, but their update of the blues fares better than what I've heard from similar duos, such as the Black Keys and the White Stripes.

The song I'm posting from The Throes is called "Crow Jane". It's a traditional song that dates back to Skip James and has been covered by the likes of Etta Baker, Nick Cave and Reverend Gary Davis. Two Gallants turn in an unequivocally gorgeous read of the song, such that it's easily the highlight of The Throes. Adam Stephens' vocal performance is a revelation, especially when it comes to phrasing. Here's hoping you enjoy it as much as I do.

Two Gallants - "Crow Jane"

You can visit Two Gallants' Website to see if their fairly extensive tour is coming near you and to watch a live video of "Crow Jane".


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