New Imperial Grand Blues

J. Tillman - Live at Blå, Oslo, October 3rd. 2009

J. Tillman, at this moment in time probably most known for his role as a drummer in Fleet Foxes, has released no less than two albums this year. The first one Vacilando Territory Blues came in January and the second Year in the Kingdom were released just a couple of weeks ago. Both are well worth checking out. That said, both those albums are bleak if you put them up against what J. Tillman and his band are doing live on this tour.

From the first sparse harmonies in set-opener "All You See" to the complete rockout in the set-closing "New Imperial Grand Blues" this band had me wrapped around their littlefinger. A perfect mix between the slow mellow songs and more sonic experimentation throughout the set.
The liveversion of "Though I Have Wronged You" with handclaps and footstomps as percussion was especially haunting. Nothing short of perfection actually. I think the last time I was this impressed by the live rendition of an artist that I only had heard on record probably was a solo performance by Phosphorescent a few years ago or maybe Fleet Foxes with Tillman on the Øya Festival last year.

Truly impressed. If you have the opportunity to go see these guys, just do it. Don't think more about it. They will make it worth your money. I promise.

"Though I Have Wronged You"
from the album Year in the Kingdom (Bella Union, 2009)

"Steel on Steel"
from the album Vascilando Territory Blues (Bella Union, 2009)