8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 @ Tank Room
5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 @ Replay Lounge
Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, co-hosts of NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” regularly extol fussy forms of indie-rock. Many listeners who object to the tastemakers’ genteel predilections forgave the men after they discovered plaintive folk artist Gaelynn Lea last year.
When she entered the Tiny Desk Contest, the annual online talent competition overseen by “All Songs Considered,” few people outside of Lea’s hometown of Duluth, Minn., had heard of her. As they sorted through more than 6,100 entries, Boilen, Hilton and other judges including Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys became entranced by Lea’s remarkable effort.
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Filmed on a friend’s iPhone, the video of Lea’s rendition of her memorable original song “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun” captures her otherworldly voice and ethereal fiddle playing. Hilton suggested that he was moved by the song’s “serpentine, earworm melody and the tremendous heartache in her poetry.”
Her stunning performance wasn’t the only thing that made Lea’s effort remarkable. Born with brittle bones disease, Lea delivered her song while perched in an electric wheelchair. Her disability hasn’t prevented her from becoming an undeniably formidable musician.
Lea is touring with Bella Hardy, a Scottish fiddler, vocalist and songwriter. The Accidental Project, Phil Wang and Cindy Novelo will also perform at the Tank Room on Saturday. Signal Ridge will open Sunday’s show at the Replay Lounge.
Tickets to the Tank Room concert are $10 in advance at thetankroom.com.
Admission to the Replay Lounge show is $3. More info at replaylounge.com.
Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink