YES THE RAVEN Appearing Fri Sept 12th 2014 at 8:00pm
$12 in advance / $15 at the door
‘Yes the Raven’ (AKA Alyn Mearns) is a guitar virtuoso embodied with charismatic vocals, hauntingly poetic lyrics that create a moving and spell-binding experience that is hard to forget. John Tosco of Tosco Music Party cited Yes the Raven’s “performances draw you in to a place where music becomes magic."
"One of the most brilliant, moving and musical records I have ever been involved with....a supremely gifted guitarist and singer..." -----Rick Beato, Producer (Trey Anastasio, Needtobreathe, Shinedown, Charlie Mars)
Alyn Mearns was born and raised in the troubled streets of Belfast, Northern Ireland, the second son of an itinerant preacher. Alyn is now residing in Hickory, North Carolina after attending ASU as a Fletcher Scholarship winner. Back in Northern Ireland, his teenage years were spent inside a guitar, absorbing every musical style within earshot. Eventually, his skill would land him in America on a music scholarship. After a couple of band incarnations, down playing his playing for a more minimal, post-punk aesthetic, he found himself alone again with his guitar. He explains, "I found myself falling in love with the guitar again, not in the traditional 'lead guitarist' sense, but in a way that could accompany my songs and provide a satisfying emotional landscape. My guitar became a kind of miniature band, a miniature cathedral." This music is not merely a sum of its parts though. Alyn's body seems to have grown a guitar and his guitar seems to be inhabited by a voice, a haunted ship on the sea of song. The lyrics are truly lyre-ic, forming out of the melody, which in turn is birthed from plucked harmony. Audiences are left spell-bound by something that seems to have absorbed modern pop and folk music, but is, at its heart much more ancient, something Orphean, Homeric, Davidian. Alyn also returns to his Irish roots along side fellow Belfastman and poet Adrian Rice to form the duo The Belfast Boys. The Belfast Boys have performed several times at White Horse and have become real crowd favorites.
About the CD ‘Love is Covered in Dust’
‘Yes The Raven’ (aka Alyn Mearns) arrives on the scene as an unusual triple threat artist. Remarkably gifted as an instrumentalist, lyricist and song crafter: his new release “Love is Covered in Dust” will appeal to a broad audience, from fans of Dylan, Cohen and Neil Young, to followers of more recent artists such as Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith and Rufus Wainwright. Although most of the album consists of only a guitar and voice, the effect is full, moving and sometimes symphonic. This is in large part due to Mearns’s mastery of the guitar. He deploys an impressive arsenal of “how did he do that?” fingerpicking techniques to accompany his soft, soulful voice. There is a subtle thread of outlaw-cowboy undergirding tracks like ‘Josephine’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Wineglass Song’. In fact, ‘Josephine’ is reminiscent of what Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings might sound like if they were melded into one body. The opening track ‘Breathe’ also has an air of Zeppelin-esque mystery. With its mixture of outlaw delivery and Bach-like cascading harmonies, Mearns sounds like a wanted man stuck in a dystopian dreamscape. ‘Wineglass Song’ is performed with a wineglass acting as a slide. The curve of the glass steers clear of the supporting bass strings allowing Alyn to croon in harmony with this siren-like partner. He also “let’s it fly” here with an intense slide guitar solo which eventually rises into the fretless stratosphere. The genuine emotion of this track elevates it beyond the realm of guitar gimmickry. In fact, that is something one notices throughout the entire album.
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