Kumbaya, my lord, with Tiger Saw

Massachusetts’ Tiger Saw is a folk band of sorts, but you never know what incarnation they will appear in next. Founded by singer-songwriter Dylan Metrano, Tiger Saw has been everything from Metrano performing solo to a folk orchestra with more than 15 members singing along and playing all sorts of instruments including — but not limited to — guitar, cello, viola, piano, horns and various percussive instruments.

Most recently, with their newest record, Sing!, they’ve been the latter. The sound is almost like something you’d hear around a campfire at a hippy commune, except that the musicianship is superb, the songs are well-considered and cleverly arranged, and the lyrics are at times haunting and visceral and at others funny and whimsical. With the large group set-up, it seems logical to draw a connection to Polyphonic Spree — there is a similar sense of community. Like with the Spree, it’s easy to imagine that, audience or not, these guys would be doing just about the same thing every night: sitting together and playing music for the enjoyment of playing.
Tiger Saw has been joined at various times by singer/pianist Casey Dienel, whose work is jaunty and playful, but always skillful. Her vocals are subtle and maintain a degree of naiveté that’s carried over into the lyrics, which discuss things like ice cream cones and coffee beaneries. Imagine a female answer to Ben Kweller’s early solo work.

Tiger Saw and Dienel will be stopping in at Louisville’s Monkey Wrench this Friday with new local act Litany’s Last Call, a six-piece band of self-proclaimed rhythm ’n’ blues-grass acoustinauts. They, too, perform in a relatively large group, which consists of both 6- and 12-string guitars, upright bass, cello, viola and drums. This arrangement calls to mind old-time string bands, but Litany’s Last Call is not rehashing the past — they’re sure to have new twists up their proverbial sleeves.

Also appearing will be Mary Feiock of Juanita, Paul Oldham of Speed to Roam, and Sue Schofield of the clothing store Cherry Bomb, performing as a trio.

The Louisville Chorus has been around, in one form or another, since 1939. In that time, one might think its members would have exhausted their repertoire and run out of ideas, but this clearly is not the case.
Known for its wide range of performance styles, the Louisville Chorus is always developing new themes for concerts and coming up with new ways to organize and package songs.
“Jamboree” is one of the more recent concepts. Chorus members will run through old-time and traditional music from country gospel to bluegrass, including standards and old favorites such as “Down to the River to Pray,” “Peace in the Valley,” “Polly Wolly Doodle” and a guaranteed local hit, Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” They’ll perform alongside a band with a fiddler, and everyone will be in blue jeans and overalls, “a-stompin’, a-singin’ and a-hollerin’,” in the words of the Louisville Chorus’ executive director and pianist Therese Davis.
Gary Roedemeier, a WHAS-TV evening news anchor, will emcee. Here’s hoping he’s dressed the same way.
The event benefits Kentucky Harvest, the Louisville-based charitable organization with the encouragingly Robin Hood slogan: “Moving food from people who have much too much to those who have much too little.” Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate. So, y’all come on down for a good ol’ cause.

Louisville Artists for Social Awareness is a group of musicians dedicating itself to righting what it considers a wronged political system. The Mitch McConnell “money is free speech” tack ultimately means the right to participate in government can be purchased. That’s becoming increasingly obvious in national and local politics alike, and it’s making lots of people uneasy.
So LASA is starting by backing John Yarmuth in the Democratic primary for 3rd District U.S. Representative. They’ll throw seven music concerts and one art show, leading to the general election in November. They intend to branch wider than endorsing candidates, something that’ll become more evident in the near future.
“The chance to back a candidate and get out and do something right off the bat makes it easier for us, so we can garner the attention and respect to be able to do other beneficial things in the community,” said Josh Atkins, a board member. The others are Leigh Ann Yost, Joel Henderson and Billy Bartley.
The first show is this Friday at the Kentucky Theater. Look up for details. —Stephen George

Contact the writers at
[email protected]