- Sep 16 2023
- 6:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Stubborn Lovers
$12 Advance // $15 Day Of Show
6pm Doors / 7pm Show
The best Americana songs are those that are subtly familiar, with melody lines and lyrical nods that hint at the deep roots bringing forth strange new flowers. On their new album Come a Reckoning, The Stubborn Lovers demonstrate an intimate familiarity with the craggy contours of country music history, while managing to avoid the pitfalls of nostalgia or revivalism. Their music may be anchored in train beats and twang but is never beholden to tradition, as the group melds pop songcraft, E Street swagger, the gutsy bravado of heartland rock, and air-tight vocal harmonies, complementing plenty of big choruses and undeniable hooks.
Portland, Oregon is home for the band, the core of which is bassist and songwriter Jenny Taylor, a New Jersey native whose love of Asbury Park’s finest musical export (The Boss, if you had to ask) is unabashed, and shows in her attention to detail and anthemic sensibilities; singer/guitarist Mandy Allan, whose Tennessee roots ground the band in an authentic Southern style; and drummer Michael “Pearl” Nelson, a Pacific Northwest lifer with a storied history in jazz and rock. The group’s synergy is real, with Taylor’s love of language and natural musicality filtered through Allan’s old-school vocal prowess, anchored by the dynamism and experience of Nelson.
“We’re not your waltzing kind of country,” Nelson notes wryly. “We’re the shit that’s stuck to the bottom of your shoes.”
That’s not a put-down; rather, it’s an earned badge of honor for a band that has spent years committed to honing their craft, and surviving–thriving, even–amid the trials, tribulations, and personal sacrifices that naturally present themselves in such a pursuit. The group has toured extensively up and down the West Coast, playing everything from dive bars to festivals and sharing the stage with Lydia Loveless, Lindi Ortega, Brandy Clark, and Robert Earl Keen, among others. They’ve paid their dues and put in the miles, and their latest album is the culmination of the band finding its footing over the years.
Come a Reckoning is a record that seamlessly bridges the gap between alt-country punkishness and razor-sharp songcraft. With it, The Stubborn Lovers have crafted an album that is both timeless and of its moment; one that will satisfy longtime fans while winning over plenty of new ones in the process. It’s the sound of a band playing on their own terms at the height of their powers, not beholden to any particular genre stamps or tropes–and it’s a sure sign of even better things to come down the road.