Videos by American Songwriter
Photographs by Laura Brown.
I counted no less than fifteen stringed instruments (mostly vintage) onstage before Neko Case and her band came out on a Nashville Saturday night at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Opener Jason Lytle played a nice, laid-back set of folksy pop that seemed to take the audience straight back to smoking that joint while riding up the chairlift on that college senior ski trip to Colorado. Mannnnnnnnnnnnnnn. We kid, we kid.
Neko was in fine form also, with Kelly Hogan on back-up pipes and a super-talented group of musicians providing the soundscapes for her epic nature poetry. Highlights included “This Tornado Loves You” from this year’s Middle Cyclone and “Margaret Vs. Pauline” off 2006’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Neko plays mostly tenor guitars: an Old Martin and an odd adjustment to what seems to have at one point been a six-string Gibson SG electric. No matter, the vocal department is where Neko (and Kelly) truly shine. In person, Neko’s songs are like little vignettes that you often want to last just a little bit longer.