McMenamins Old St. Francis School hosts a whammy of a double-bill tonight in Father Luke’s Room as two rising nu-folk artists — Vandaveer and Cheyenne Marie Mize — perform both separately and together.
I’m hearing some buzz around Vandaveer’s appearance in Bend, and with good reason; the band’s newest album, “Dig Down Deep,” is a wonderful listen, full of modern, melodic Americana from the pen of Mark Charles Heidinger, who calls Washington D.C. home, but grew up in the great state of Kentucky.
There is no question that Heidinger knows his way around a song, and “Dig Down Deep” is a strong effort that’s well worth your time. But I’d argue that an even brighter — if slightly less developed — talent will open tonight’s show. Mize’s 2010 album “Before Lately” is a stunning collection of beguiling folk songs that tend to take the path less traveled to your ear. Her songwriting is slyly unconventional; she often zigs when you expect a zag, and she’s not afraid to challenge listeners with the occasional aural curveball, not unlike her stylistic ancestor Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) or one of her contemporaries, Sharon Van Etten. The result is an album that sounds like a warm summer night spent laying in the grass staring up at the celestial expanse above. Mize was born to be your tour guide through the constellations.
Here she is doing the “Before Lately” track “Waiting” last year in Portland for the Into The Woods folks:
All of that is the long way of saying that tonight, rather than saunter from dinner over to McMenamins at around 7:30 or 8, you should make a point to be there at 7 p.m. to catch Mize’s opening set. Then, as a special bonus treat, you’ll get to see her play with Vandaveer. (Mize is also from Kentucky, and has been touring and playing with Vandaveer for a while now.)
And, as usual, this show is free. Which … which is just crazy.
Hey, as long as you’re here, check out Vandaveer (with Mize) playing “The Nature of Our Kind” from “Dig Down Deep” in an abandoned pool, filmed by the La Blogotheque squad: