The Country Club
February 14, 2005
BY JASON SONGE
There's a poem entitled "Paris Lament(for Jim Morrison)" by Ralph Hasselmann, Jr. It lays out the many reasons the speaker wants to commit suicide. Morrison doesn't actually come into the picture until a ways into the poem:
"So this is how it ends/In a warm Paris bathtub womb/Welcome to the world that waits/With open
jaws instead of open arms."
It makes perfect sense that Paris Nesbit of The Charm City Brokers named his new band after the poem. Nesbit's music was just as depressing and hopeless Tuesday night at The Country Club. Acoustic guitarist Nesbit was joined by bassist Sara Essex, pedal steel guitarist Dan Cooper, and cellist Robin May.
There was no percussion, but the moody music did better without a loud beat. PL played sad, Folk music with a strong, drowning Country twang. Since there was no percussion, Cooper's longing tone cut through the air cleaner and threatened to pull me into Nesbit's abyss.
He sang about failed love, mostly. Nesbit's resigned voice was combined with Essex's plodding, dark sound, along with the natural heavy hum of the cello. The music was beautiful.
The sound was enhanced by its surroundings. The white curtains of The Country Club, a former plantation home, were creepy enough. The band's Valentine's Day clothing and lit red candles finished off the funereal darkness in the songs.
There was no hope in the songs. More and more of a sleepy, hopeless haze built up around the 25 audience members as the concert went on. This was my only problem with the show. The songs sounded too similar. There's only so much of the heavy, dark stuff I can take before I fall asleep. Nesbit's band will benefit if they add a little variety.