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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simon Joyner's living room tour comes to Avondale Estates

For more than 20 years, singer and guitarist Simon Joyner has amassed a stark body of songs steeped in the ramshackle imagery and narratives embodied by the people and the landscape of the American Great Plains - namely that of his hometown, Omaha, Nebr. Currently making his way across the country, performing in people's living rooms, Joyner makes his way to Atlanta tonight (Wed., Dec. 11) to play a show in the Locust Lofts in Avondale Estate's Rail Arts District. (buy a ticket to find out the address). Tickets are $15 and the show starts at 8 p.m.

For these stripped-down performances, Joyner plays an acoustic guitar and sings a few solo numbers, and some with a trio rounded out by Noah Sterba (keyboard, guitar) and Kevin Donahue (drums, bass). A handful of videos from these shows have been making their way around the Internet this week, painting a picture of these shows as intimate settings in which the group runs through a comprehensive set of songs touching on everything from Joyner's 1994 early masterpiece, The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll on up through 2012's Ghosts. You might even hear some newer numbers if the mood strikes. "House shows are generally the most fun to play, but it's difficult to support a national tour by just playing fun shows in people's basements," Joyner says. "These shows have been set up as a sort of a community kind of thing where people will come out to support the music, while creating a more personal kind of experience," he adds. "It's also been a really nice change of pace."

... And it's not too late to make a request, so let him know if there's something you want to hear when you buy your tickets.

Often cited as the songwriting mentor to Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, Simon Joyner has lead a secretly respectable career of his own for 20 years, writing songs about the people and the places he knows, emphasizing mood and darkness. His acclaimed 1994 album The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll is the only record that famed BBC DJ John Peel ever played on the air in its entirety, and with such later albums as 1999's The Lousy Dance and 2006's Skeleton Blues, Joyner has continued his headlong dive into the dark side of life in Middle America. Before heading South on tour, Joyner took time to discuss the death-afflicted sound and vision of his 12th proper album, Ghosts.

Continue reading CL's Q&A "Simon Joyner: Talking with Ghosts: Songwriter and perennial outsider embraces the dour side of Nebraska" from November 6, 2012.

Stomp & Stammer is running a feature story on Joyner this month as well.

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