BOOT & SADDLE

1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Horse Feathers

Horse Feathers

Korey Dane

Mon, May 9, 2016

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

Horse Feathers
Horse Feathers
Horse Feathers feels like a secret you don’t really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle’s distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.

Now, however, Horse Feathers has created an album that differs enough from its predecessors to suggest that the cat might get out of the bag. On Appreciation, their sixth full-length and the fifth on venerable independent label Kill Rock Stars, the signifiers of the band are there: Ringle’s warm tenor and lyrics that speak of work, love, and other struggles. But on this album less of the song dynamics are achieved with strings and more with an exciting new rhythm section steeped in Northern Soul. Longtime violinist Nathan Crockett and keyboardist Dustin Dybvig provide continuity, but much of Appreciation feels like the best of Ringle’s previous musical ideas just took a giant step into a larger arena.

Recorded primarily in Kentucky (at La-La Land Studios in Louisville and Shangri-La Studios in Lexington), the new album features instrumentalists J. Tom Hnatow, Robby Cosenza and R&B vocalist Joslyn Hampton, who helped make Appreciation a mixture of strutting ‘70s-style country-pop (“Without Applause,” “Don’t Mean To Pry”) and supple soul (“Best To Leave,” “Evictions”). But Horse Feathers hasn’t gained accessibility at the expense of quality, nor at the expense of their signature instrumentation (“The Hex” might be the only R&B/soul song where the rhythmic lead is played on banjo). For those who crave what NPR called “the densely pretty seethe of Horse Feathers’ earlier ballads”, the album delivers “Born in Love” and “On the Rise”, accentuating the string surge with Hammond organ, piano, tambourine, and finger snaps.

“It just felt like a fresh take on how my songs can come across,” Ringle says. “With this incarnation, it’s okay if what I’m doing right now is in fact kind of a pop song. I can have a chorus and repeat something. I’m more aware of that and enjoy it.”

This artistic adjustment comes in the wake of a lot of changes in Ringle’s life. Not too long ago, he left his former hometown of Portland for the coastal city Astoria, Oregon. He’s also been dipping his toes into the world of record production, helping North Carolina band River Whyless with the recording of their last album We All The Light. After a while of bouncing between three states, as well as stops in Camas, Washington to finish Appreciation with longtime compatriot Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios, Ringle is finally settling down just in time to get ready to hit the road with Horse Feathers in support of this new album. “I wanna get out there and do my job,” he says.

Diehard fans are going to find plenty to cherish on Appreciation. But they’re going to have to make room in the club house for a lot more people – with this album, the Horse Feathers secret is officially out.
Korey Dane
Prufrock had the Emperor of Ice Cream in a headlock when the roar of a ’37 Triumph Speed Twin made them both forget what they were fighting about. In walked an Anglo-Cherokee-Japanese skateboarder. “I’m Korey Dane, and you’re both acting like children.”

He had ridden from Joshua Tree where his father was rebuilding a 1953 Chevy Hardtop. “I’ve put my board away, gentlemen, and I’ve picked up a guitar. I figure the board will never really let me say what I want to say, and frankly, nothing makes me cry like the 3 minor chord.” The table was cleared for a round of Old Pulteneys as Korey Dane began his tale of woe and redemption.

“I’m twenty-five years old. My mother handed me East of Eden when I was twelve and I’ve never been the same since. Neither has she. Mom and Dad headed in opposite directions; academe called her name and Dad, well Dad drove into the desert until he ran out of gas. And there he hung his hat. I tumbled for a while…and grumbled. But four wheels brought me where I needed to go. I probably did a little too much of this and way too much of that, but that’s ok. I’m better for it. Lera says I’ve still got a long way to go. Hell, she’s from Ukraine, for Christ’s sake. She should know.

“Luckily, I heard and saw some things; Tom Waits, Bruce Davidson, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Aaron Embry, The Beatles and the Stones, Blake Mills, Mark Gonzales, Karen Dalton, and the ‘Mats. Hitching across the country is like a 72-day answer to the question, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’ Well, I’ve gathered a lot of answers to that question. But the best thing that could happen was going around the country until I found myself back home. Listen to me. I’m Dorothy fucking Gale!

“Home is where I decided to take a position. Orville Gibson and Ernie Ball were my earliest accomplices. The three of us were sequestered for a couple of years until we all agreed I needed to step outside. I played for a few friends and nobody hit me. I felt this might work out.

“I rolled some Legend of 91 and got to work. A hundred songs…three of them decent. Then I slept for three days. Woke up and wrote a hundred more. This time, two of them were worthwhile. This wasn’t going well. After a while I met some folks. They were nice. They were encouraging. And they said, ‘Surely you can do better than this.’ They introduced me to a man—a cruel man—who made me do things no man should have to do. Scansion, modulation, chromaticism…he was mean and relentless.

“But here I sit. Open to whatever comes. You’re both older gentlemen, now. Go home to your wives, your families. I feel ready.”

The three of them went their respective ways. Prufrock and the Emperor are now long gone.

Korey Dane is standing right outside your door.
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147
http://www.bootandsaddlephilly.com