Blood Warrior's brand of Folk is weighty with thump-stomping percussion, great choral harmonies, and the vocal awesomeness of Greg Jamie. The music can soothe like a lullaby but don’t get too comfortable because these gentle warriors can bring up the volume. Their voices swell; electric guitar leads and acoustic strumming intertwine with shakers and emphasized bass drum, giving traditional Folk an edgy twist.
Max Vernon @ Kenny's Castaways, Master of Design
Making a fashion statement at CMJ is an anomaly, but Max Vernon intends to please both visually and sonically. He walked onto the stage wearing an asymmetrical googly eye ensemble of his design.
He started the set by saying, "please excuse my unnecessary banter, I have to fill this forty-minute set," and fill he did. Max Vernon's verbal acuity does wonders for in-between songs, but that gift translates well to songwriting.
Standing confidently at 6’4 behind his keyboard and almost strutting, he played complex pop/jazz arrangements. His vocals dared go from low to falsetto, adding unexpected touches to his recorded material. What I found the most fascinating was his ability to seamlessly create the backup vocals. In between, he played three songs on the guitar.
A highlight was "Around Your Finger," with friend Emily singing the chorus / I hate to tell you / that I had more fun / When you were hooked on drugs /. "Psycho Bitch" a new one, is a song in the same vein. His second new offering had a haunting juxtaposition between an irregular chord repetition and a beautiful vocal. He ended with a Liz Phair cover, "Canary."
Download a slew of songs here