Relatively Faithful Outdated Music Review: The Cave Singers "Invitation Songs"

I really wasn't intending to post today, but I'm sitting and listening to the aforementioned album for about the fifth time today, and I figure it's due a few words. "Invitation Songs" was released about a year ago, but I picked it up at the library this week.

I've heard other people say that The Cave Singers have a 'Tennessee front porch' vibe, but I'm sure that's much to the chagrin of people who are actually sitting on front porches across Tennessee. If I remember correctly, these days people don't generally play music like this in Appalachia, and real country-folk probably would look at Seattle musicians making this kind of music in much the same way as African-Americans looked at Vanilla Ice back in his rap days.

That's a shame though, because this is really beautiful stuff, in the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" vein of American folk music with a distinctively dancin' depressed/black-clothed indie rocker/Seattle feel. As an ex-Kentuckian, I feel like I should be defensive about this kind of stuff, but this is my favorite 'new' album in quite some time. They're writing again, and should be releasing another record in the relatively near future (?) I'm just glad someone's making this kind of music.

For a fun fact, The Cave Singers are actually a part of a surprisingly vibrant old-timey folk scene in Seattle. Kevin Barrans is another assumedly smelly bearded dude who makes great music in this faux-Appalachian vein, and Baby Gramps is the old-timeyest. Part of this I attribute to the Pike Place Market scene, which is keeping American busking alive, and I would include my personal favorite Tommy Dean as part of a similar musical trend. Another part of it I would attribute to Seattle having an awesome music scene across the board. Finally, I would attribute the rest to my own influence.

The Cave Singers released this video while I was still working at Bottletown. It's a good song, and the whole album keeps up with it.


wes said…
I was about to dig through your old postings to find this video. A person could get away with this music in Bham. Couldnt comment on how well it would fit on a front porch in TN--I dont pick up that old time vibe except from watching the video, and then it reminds me of Sand Mountain, AL more than TN. I would imagine these guys would be welcome somewhere in Nashville, at least for an hour or so.

Fleet Foxes just came to Bham yesterday, so Seattlites make a few waves down here. They played a respectable, albeit small venue, which I declined to attend.
Tim Mathis said…
Yeah, Fleet Foxes are okay, but I'm not a huge fan. They're really big here right now (the biggest, some hipsters say), and part of the same social scene as the Cave Singers, Triumph of Lethargy, and about six other bands that were birthed through the death of other previously popular Seattle groups, and that dress like the hipsters did in Louisville a few years back. The urban country chic thing is more universal than I expected, though to be fair the PNW still does have quite a rustic/frontier feel about it, in some ways similar to a younger KY--if KY were in Canada.

Point being, I like this video and it's Sand Mountain feel. It reminded me of the old vids of snake handling churches I found on youtube.

Popular Posts