Native Harrow, Leyda, Ian McCuen
Thursday, May 16, 7pm doors/8pm show, $7
Dark avant-garde folk rock from the Hudson Valley
Devin Tuel may consider herself to be an artist meant for a different time, but she now finds herself inhabiting her own true place. The singer-songwriter is at home in Upstate NY reflecting on her third album, Happier Now, released under her nom de plume, Native Harrow, as well as the difficult sojourn the former ballerina and classically trained singer has had to traverse to become the writer and performer she was meant to be. “This record is about becoming your own advocate. Realizing that maybe you are different in several or a myriad of ways and that that is okay. And further, it is about me becoming a grown woman,” Tuel says.
After nearly two decades of rigorous training in ballet, theatre, and voice, Tuel needed to break out of the oppressive rules of academia and find her natural voice, write from her heart, and figure out what kind of performer she truly was rather than the one she was being molded into from the age of 3. “I spent my early twenties playing every venue in Greenwich Village, recording demos in my friend’s kitchen, and making lattes. I felt very alive then. I was on my own living in my own little studio, staying up all night writing; the dream I had of being a bohemian New York City artist was unfolding. I wanted to be Patti Smith. I was also heartbroken, poor, and had no idea what I was getting myself into. My twenties, as I think it goes for most, were all about getting up, getting knocked down, and learning to keep going. I never gave up and I think if I told 20-year-old me how things looked 9 years later she’d be so excited”.
Happier Now (out April 12 on Different Time Records), is a set of nine songs recorded and mixed by Alex Hall (JD McPherson, The Cactus Blossoms, Pokey LaFarge) at Chicago’s Reliable Recorders. The album was co-produced by Hall, Tuel, and her bandmate, multi-instrumentalist Stephen Harms.
Native Harrow cuts out clear and vibrant narratives on fear, love, the open road, ill-fated relationships, and coping with the state of the world. “I wanted to share that I made it out of my own thunderstorm. I had experienced the high peaks and very low valleys of my twenties. I saw more of the world on my own, got through challenges, reveled in true moments of triumph… but all the while the world around me was growing louder, wilder, and scarier. Music for me is a place to be soft. This album was my place to feel it all.”
They recently completed a tour with Great Lake Swimmers.
““Can’t Go On Like This” calls to mind the folk-pop giants of yesteryear, but vocalist and guitarist Devin Tuel’s flowy, spiritual voice is timeless, and its fluttering beauty will spark a lump in your throat. Wrapped around a general sense of self-doubt are discernible tones of gentle warmth and humble charm, and its healing qualities shouldn’t be underestimated.” — Paste
“Native Harrow will bring you back to the early 60’s NYC Greenwich Village folk scene, the dimly lit listening rooms filled with wooden tables and cigarette smoke, and people quietly listening to someone singing an original song and playing an acoustic guitar” — See/Saw Music Blog
“Art imitates life and art returns the favor in the music of Native Harrow. The duo hang folk music like gauze.” — The Alternate Root
“Spectral folk pop atmospherics created by dreamy lead guitar melodies, stretched rhythms, and reverby vocals.” — The Modern Folk Music of America
New video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dH5LmX1PrM
And one from 2015: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfz9x_fs1kk
Event page: www.facebook.com/events/2255023188104501