Ben Chasny @ DC9, Washington DC, Aug 16, 2011.
Six Organs of Admittance - Ben Chasny has performed under this band name for over a decade. He has done it solo, with guests, and with full band sounds. I have seen him three times in DC, once with the wildly rocking and brilliant Comets on Fire, once with the intriguing super-trio Rangda, and once at the DC9 under his band name. He performed solo then with a guest about half of the set.
Tonight was fully solo, simply acoustic guitar and microphone. Of course nothing is simple, if you have heard Chasny play. He is a guitar master somewhere between John Fahey and Robbie Basho. He also has loads of Eastern moves that have been previously used so effectively by guitarists like Davy Graham and others.
Chasny really had the sound down tonight and delivered a far superior set than the last time in town (which was a good enough set I thought at the time). He had an amazing drone string that really created spacey overtones with the finger picking playing all kinds of complex runs around the drone. I am not sure I have ever heard someone quite come up with a sound like that before. His vocals were good in his usual understated way. Probably more effective than good, but the overall effect was to hit the trippier psychedelic side of his music.
No surprise that he dedicated a song to the late Jack Rose, who was another one of the fine US guitarists. I was happy to see a fairly large crowd who was quite enthusiastic tonight. Ben Chasny is someone that is worth a listen in any format he plays in.
First published @ dcrocklive.blogspot.com.
Photo Credits: (1) Ben Chasny (unknown).