On May 14th, Sherman Ewing, Dreamt and Craig Lawrence rocked the stage at The Delancey.
The event, hosted by Effective Immediately PR, called Industry Night has been a bi-monthly showcase of some of the agency’s finest up-and-coming talents. This evening was a special one; Sherman Ewing released his much talked about EP “Cross My Broken Heart”.
Sherman Ewing is a singer/songwriter who launched his solo career back in 2002 when teaming up with Godrey Diamond (Lou Reed, Aerosmith, Billy Squier) to record his debut LP “Bluemoon”. Having also played and collaborated with jam-giant Jojo Herman (Widespread Panic), and having grown up with Trey Anastasio (Phish), Sherman Ewing has no shortage of musical inspiration. This was apparent in both the content of his songs and his presence and confidence as a performer.
The 5-piece band that supported Ewing effortlessly navigated his compositions. Ringing heavily of '70s Dylan, with an organist, guitarist, bassist, lead guitarist and drummer, the band regularly departed into sonic space, unleashing their full musicianship in tight and tasteful expositions.
The opening song ebbed and flowed into a hooky chorus, coming to a head with the line: “You lonesome soldier you”. Harmonies from the band seamlessly backed Ewing’s gritty tenor, reminiscent of Marshall Tucker crossed with Bob Dylan. The audience was won over, gradually pouring in as Ewing and his crew steamed along.
A major touchstone of the set was the theme of natural disaster. In the song “Katrina, I’m Still Here,” Ewing sang with a Neil Young edginess, and the band completely departed into an epic Rhodes-solo-rock-extravaganza. Another song chronicled the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, while yet another crooned: “wild river take our troubles with you”. The band raged on like a hurricane as Ewing lamented its traumatic effects.
Following Sherman Ewing was the musical stylings of the young duet Dreamt. With Dispatch-style guitar strums and a husky baritone that resembled Wilco’s Jeff Tweety, the duo crafted elaborate and intricate songs. Usually boasting an 8-piece arrangement with horns, drums and the full fare, the abbreviated ensemble still communicated a bare and vulnerable essence that resounded powerfully throughout Delancey’s corridors. The singer proclaimed “This life is a gamble, still I know, still I follow”. The two seemed set on a mission, both lyrically and musically, to rediscover the human soul.
Last but not least was Craig Lawrence. Striking a more casual chord with the audience, Craig Lawrence boomed out with phrases like: “We’re gonna have some fun” and “put your money where your mouth is!” The songs were well-structured pop songs, with loose Pavement-style grooves, a definite '90s feel and a tambourine player that rocked the band with his high falsetto harmonies. With a keen awareness of its softer side, the band was a gentle though uplifting close to the evening’s performances.
Industry Night was not your typical bill of rock bands playing to an indifferent crowd. The audience was attentive, responsive, and highly respectful of the performing musicians. The evening was by and large a charged delight, for both musicians and music enthusiasts alike.
Industry Night welcomes listeners to hear some of Effective Immediately’s finest performers two Thursdays per month at The Delancey.