(Pictured: Kate Mick, Photo: Ken Abrams) Celebrating culture and local artistry, the volunteer-led Collaborative in Warren provides the perfect space for creative folk and those who love them. Located in a small room, with walls covered in local art, and Main Street bustling aglow in the cold just outside, there was no better place to enjoy some music on a Saturday night.
“I think I know everyone here.”
The night opened with a performance from Warren native, Kate Mick, who performed to a captive room full of friends and family. Micks’ banjo-driven set consisted of 7 songs; some older tracks including “Take, Shake, and Make Me”, “Drinkin’ About It” and “Undertow” from her 2016 album, Undertow, as well as “Moon Song” by her band SwampBirds. She added some newer, and one borrowed; a fit-for-the-season cover of Courtney Barnett’s 2015 song, “Boxing Day Blues (Revisited).”
Mick recently took some time off from the live circuit to concentrate on her next album (anticipated Spring 2019) and if last night was any indication, the album will be worth the wait. With bright vocals brilliantly contradicting melancholic lyrics, Mick stayed true to form with two new tracks “Rock n Roll” and “Swarm and Sway (Devil Song)” that had everyone knee-tappin’ and feeling their feelings.
Mick is a strong performer. She may be a little quiet between songs, even a little awkward, but it’s all the more endearing when she begins playing and evokes the type of confidence and skill that not many are capable of. It’s a stark and charming contrast.
“We’re giving mixed messages tonight. Sad songs with some light-hearted banter.”
The night also belonged to Dead Gowns, a project out of Portand, ME who just released their brilliant EP, New Spine, this past July. Mick recently met them while hiking in Maine, invited them to Warren, and we’re all so much better off for it.
Last night, Dead Gowns, traditionally a quartet, was Geneviève Beaudoin (on vocals and a gorgeous Gretsch semi-hollow) and Luke Kalloch (on backing vocals and a Telecaster). They played through their entire EP stopping once to cover “So Much Wine” by The Handsome Band, a heartbreaking song about the loss of a much-loved family member. The chemistry and trust between Beaudoin and Kalloch was obvious with the pair often drifted towards each other, smiling between songs and sharing stories.
It’s hard to describe Beaudoin’s prowess without coming off a little obsessive but here’s what’s known: she’s just too damn good and we’re not worthy. Her vocals are twang and molasses, soaring over lines like, “But you know better till one day when you don’t” from garage rock-esque “Splits,” a song that carefully builds to an intensity that’s all at once overwhelming and therapeutic. Dead Gowns play the music we sing along to while we’re driving and tear up to once we’re parked. Witnessing these songs play out live is truly an awesome experience and one that should not be missed. Do yourself many favors and see them next time they pass through our little state.
Check out Dead Gowns below: