Here are my top three of many. I didn’t go to everything, so lay off.
Joy Kills Sorrow – “Such Great Heights” – In a performance alongside of the Scottish folk band Admiral Fallow at Union Hall, Boston stringband Joy Kills Sorrow paid tribute to its indie and youthful draw with a brilliant cover of Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” Mixing the flawless voice of Emma Beaton with impressive instrumentation (of note, recent Berklee grad Jacob Jolliff on mandolin), all of Jersey in the house was moved to tears as they longed for the days when Garden State made their state look cool (Enter Pauly D. End scene). Here’s a low budget recording of the band performing the song in Munich earlier this month (sadly, no Wes Corbett on banjo for this version).
John Fullbright – “Jericho” – I’ve given a shout out for this song before, but for the first time I saw Fullbright live at Rockwood (Stage I, no tables) on Tuesday. After driving for three days and sleeping in his van to make it to this show, the Oklahoma-native songwriter (who claims he fears cities) asked the crowd what they’d like to hear. EVERYONE asked for “Jericho” at the same time. While much of the show was Fullbright on guitar, he played piano for this song and filled the room with a huge presence. Love this guy.
Aunt Martha – “Wherever You Wanna Go” – Maine/Brooklyn-ish’s Aunt Martha first popped on my radar following a tip from Newport producer Jay Sweet prior to the band’s performance at last year’s Nor’easter Festival in Burlington. The poppy folk quartet drew a relatively hefty crowd to for its 4PM Rockwood (Stage II) show on Saturday, which was followed later by a show at the Living Room the same day. The moment for me was in a performance of this song off the band’s Bloodshot EP from last year.