In the Fall of 2016, singer-songwriter John Moreland played The Social in Orlando. Veteran The Social bartender Dan Dyer, who normally wears plugs to protect his ears in the intimate room, removed any barrier between his brain and Moreland’s gorgeous, haunting playing after the first notes wafted to the bar. Dyer has seen hundreds of acts play The Social. It is tough to impress him or distract at all from the matter at hand. John Moreland was the rare exception.
Moreland had some new tunes in store for the lucky few that night- songs that would end up on his tremendous 2017 release Big Bad Luv. This author was not done processing Moreland’s 2015 masterpiece High on Tulsa Heat when Moreland hit the crowd at The Social with new lyrics like
‘If we don’t bleed it don’t feel like a song.’
Processing John Moreland’s music in real time is like racing Usain Bolt on your bicycle.
In theory, the odds should be in your favor, but then Moreland sings something like “There ain’t no glory in regret.” Your awareness skips a beat before coming to the realization you are intensely outclassed. He will smoke you even if you have a head start.
In the aftermath of each utterance, you start to process the preceding lines but Moreland is already pulling well ahead of you. “If we don’t bleed, it don’t feel like a song.”
Moreland writes from a place of honest appreciation for the dirty bits of his characters—the messy stuff we all have within us. Incredibly, he takes the most tortured parts of our personalities and colors them with breathtaking playing—crafting lyrical examinations of anxiety and insecurity unlike anyone else making folk or Americana today.
John Moreland takes the front porch stage in one of the most beautiful venues in Florida, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, on February 11, 2018, as part of the Front Porch Series. The SJC Venues Front Porch Series features free concerts on a hardwood deck on the grounds of the enchanting St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Music starts at 7:00 and no tickets are necessary! This is the kind of shows we would crack open our piggy bank to see but you can just walk up and let Moreland ‘break (your) heart sweetly’ for free.
John Moreland St. Augustine Amphitheatre Front Porch Series 2018 Preview by Jason Earle.
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