The Blue Hit

Circle Bar

August 19, 2009


The Blue Hit is exactly the type of indie/folk/pop band Paste Magazine would be all over, and I think I mighta scooped them for once. It felt like I was watching something special last night at The Circle Bar. Something I might tell people offhandedly three years from now, about how I saw them before they got semi-big, while sounding like a self-important ass in the process.

The Blue Hit is an Austin trio consisting of vocalist Grace Rowland, cellist David Moss, and acoustic guitarist John McGee.

Though McGee and Moss were obviously accomplished musicians that I could see playing in trad jazz bands on the side, most of my attention went to how well Rowland acted out the lyrics. She was a little too good. It was a bit uncomfortable, in a great way, as she narrated a song about cheating in a relationship while her face and voice displayed the condescension and lack of remorse in the cheater.

When she took on a character, she really took it on. If there was a martial tone to the song, she marched, and if a song displayed exasperation, she threw her right hand up to her hairline. She gave herself to the audience, leaving no comfort zone she could revert to. She was vibrant, 100% there--a method musician.

One highlight was a song of spooky, pastoral lyrics. The music boasted beautifully constructed soundscapes that were theatrical, and with or without the vocals, would have sounded great on any horror movie soundtrack.

One thing I liked about this band is that mood was diverse. Another great song from the set was a heartbreaker that showcased the coupling of Rowland's soaring voice and the bowed cello. The cello is pretty great for making things sound sad.

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