Brooklyn-based Girls on Grass, despite their moniker, is precisely 50% girl— Barbara (writer, singer, guitarist), drummer Nancy Polstein (the Friggs, Cheri Knight, Star City)—and 50% boy: blues/alt-country vet David Weiss on lead guitar (replacing Sean Eden), and WFMU’s own Dave Mandl on bass. Upon her arrival in NYC in 2004, Barbara served time in a handful of bands; it took a decade for her songwriting identity to blossom, and when it did, it contained multitudes: not only her Wisconsin working-class folk-country sensibility, but all the strains she took in as a kid and as a working musician. Think very, very melodic roots-y but also psych-inflected bands: the dBs, the Rain Parade, plus a big dose of surf and rockabilly. Plus, just warm as heck. But that’s not all: she’s sort of a guitar hero. Think Dickey-Betts-meets-TomVerlaine. Precisely executed, angular lines, played left-handed. But that’s not all, either, because this is really a band, one that, upon their 2014 live debut (at Freddy’s Back Room) seems to have become the favorite of an alarming number of people. On Barbara’s left is Dave #1: the Tele guy who can effortlessly channel the likes of Roy Buchanan, Clarence White, or Richard Thompson as he plays in deft counterpoint to Barbara’s guitar. On her right is Dave #2, the melodic-but-grooving bass guy, who seems to always come up with the perfect but completely unexpected part. And behind her, holding everything together is Nancy, a drummer who really knows how to support a song, but can unleash a Bonham-esque stadium fill when such a thing is called for. Dirty Power, their about-to-be-released sophomore effort, is a stunning collection that continues Barbara’s lay-it-on-the-line approach to songcraft but ups the ante musically with a more-developed guitar interplay that’s equal parts Sticky Fingers and Marquee Moon. Girls on Grass recorded Dirty Power with producer Eric Ambel (alum of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Del-Lords, Blood Oranges) and engineer Mario Viele, with mixing by Michael James.
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Earlier Event: June 28Wanda Houston
Later Event: July 4Closed for Independence! (and off to see James Taylor)