The anticipated premiere of Austin-based Great Northern Guns opened Sunday evening (with Houston-based Ethan Durelle and local Make Your Own Maps) at The Limelight with “Mercy Fuck (or Now That We’ve Been Properly Introduced),” a solid pillar from their recently released EP The Great and Secret Show. Diving head-first into their “hot rock,” the boys led the audience down a new thoroughfare of cordial balance, accented by heavy, heated, but faithfully euphonious cadences.
Jerid Morris (ex-Muldoon singer/guitarist) is sans guitar, embracing the freedom and mobility to indulge in lofty, strident verse. At times self-deprecating but always brutal and honest — and still riding the plateau of a short tenure — Great Northern Guns is ambitious, achieving each grinding moment in well-balanced accord. Justin Morris has stepped out from behind the control-room glass to highlight his guitar proficiency, establishing equity with fellow guitarist Joseph Bellows, easily working with one another, bassist Carlos Cantu and drummer Patrick Showy.
For their first San Antonio appearance, a generous gathering of the curious and dedicated eagerly welcomed the candor Jerid Morris inevitably weaves into allusions to the quotidian experiences we all have. Accessible because everyone understands the brutality of each interface, the Guns peel back the layers of acceptance, resignation, and loss to reveal the rawest form of human nature, and deliver it in bursts of cathartic resonance.
The Devil We Know
Nashville-based songwriter Todd Snider has been such a ubiquitous presence around these parts lately that it’s beginning to feel like he’s a local artist (if only that were true). Snider’s Friday, May 4 show at Gruene Hall marks his third appearance in this area within the last year, but he’s such a masterful musical storyteller and winning performer that he’s worth catching at every opportunity. Snider is currently plugging a live acoustic album (Live at Grimey’s) and a DVD version of his exceptional 2006 album, The Devil You Know, with videos, live performance clips, and a short film called Come East to Nashville.
— Francesca Camillo and Gilbert Garcia