I didn’t really know what to expect.
Each night when I go to my 2nd job running sound at Pete’s Candy Store I usually know that I’m going to here fairly average, local music (not that it’s a bad thing) but Englishman, the unassuming trio from Lexington, KY, took me and the 20-odd folks crammed into the tiny back room by surprise last night.
From the onset, Englishman got the most out of the humble Pete’s soundsystem and filled every nook and cranny with smooth and subtle instrumentation (reminiscent of Other Lives) helped along by Matthew Duncan’s piano playing. Justin Craig’s slightly chiming, mostly shimmering guitar complemented lead man Andrew English’s acoustic strums. Everything was working for them and the music provided a brilliant backdrop for English’s haunting voice, which sounds similar to John Darnielle without the rough edges and borders on Colin Meloy without the pretense.
I couldn’t picture English singing any other way or saying anything else. That is one of the truly refreshing aspects of Englishman- the honest and endearing lyrics. I could go through the songs and pull countless phrases that the listener can latch onto. It’s true originiality, sentimentality and maturity. This band is nothing but good.
Although I didn’t know what to expect, I’m going to hedge a bet and say that the listening public should expect to hear more from Englishman in the near future. On the horizon are a Daytrotter Session, opening duties for Deer Tick and Dawes in Lexington plus more dates across the southern US in early fall.