It’s Sunday evening, it’s the weeks of preparation leading to the final holidays of the year, I have been working 12 hour days the last week and am ready to crash. But, I have an itch once again because its been some time since I have any many shows. This Sunday evening though after being in the car for the previous 6 hours I was ready for some downtime and Ben Noble’s show was a much needed dose of that somewhere between this and last week.
I arrived at Bryant Lake Bowl a bit apprehensive. After all, being I have only ever been in the front of the place I had zero clue there was a hidden stage somewhere in this place. Turned out, it’s sitting behind the bowling alley and so tightly tucked in the joint they use a door in the wall to pass drinks and order. But once into the small venue it quickly becomes a cozy room filled half with small private tables and for the less dining inclined, has some theater seating just behind that. Again, call me strange but on this cold evening after a long day it was extremely welcoming to me.
Ben Noble, Noble we’ll go with for sake of sounding over official, is something of a mystery to me. Even after seeing the show. Described as a having influences from the likes of Bon Iver and Radiohead I was curious to hear the music I had played on a loop for the last week in person. But before I go off in praise for the album I have to make note I had no idea about members of Noble’s band for the night. None other than two members of Candid Kid were present. How did I figure it out, the mustached bass player. Go figure.
I have to say that when I began my listen through of Noble’s new album, Whiskey Priest, I was at a loss as to how to categorize it. It’s an album you wouldn’t just toss on in the car especially with friends. But it also isn’t an album of melancholy tones that you’d get from a classic Bon Iver track. Low and behold Noble himself has the best description for his music, exacting introspection. I can’t think of a better way to put it. I have my own playlist appropriately called “Cold Winter” that has a hand full of songs which hit the same tone, apparently I missed the bus on this genre but I am on it now.
Whiskey Priest was the focus of the night and genuinely, even if you already support local music, I recommend a full once through of Noble’s album. After the show I had a lot more to digest than I had prior and went for a drive to revisit a few songs. Among those were Worldspin, Cutting Teeth, and Healer Might. Credit to Noble, I had ZERO idea what the words were to these songs before the show. And I realized in my night cruise that I still didn’t entirely but it didn’t matter. The tone of each song is solidly captured and you can lose yourself in a whirl of reflection as they progress. For me that’s as much if more important. Lyrics though crucial are lost when not put to the right mood and Noble absolutely blends them to a T. You can write your own narrative to each song or soak in the words, either way the journey is nostalgic and peaceful.
All in all I greatly enjoyed the show and hearing Noble live finally. I’ve been happy to add a couple of his tracks now to my daily playlist and hope that he keeps the introspective vibe rolling. And, knock on wood, in the near future you all can check him out at a slightly larger venue. Maybe one that rhymes with wine time? Sorry, maybe just a slip. But Fine Line with wine is excellent too. Keep it coming Ben Noble, I’m eager to hear the next installments and always jump to support a genuine and local creative type.