Thursday, April 10, 2008

John Henry and the Engine Under the Yellow Moon Release Show Saturday, April 12, at Off Broadway with the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 2:05 PM

On a night where there is no shortage of good shows (Saturday, April 12), John Henry and the Engine's CD release show at Off Broadway with the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir stands out. In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer reviews the band's forthcoming CD, Under the Yellow Moon:

On Under the Yellow Moon, it's unclear if John Henry & the Engine send us their greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey, or Columbia, Missouri. The quartet is so steeped in Springsteenisms — piano-led epics, small-town heartbreaks and a heavy reliance on American rock & soul — that it sometimes feels that a Clarence Clemons sax solo is hiding behind every corner. Of course, you could pick worse songwriters than Bruce to mimic, and lead singer and guitarist John Henry brings enough of his own verve and style to keep him from sounding like a tribute act.

Read more at the link above.

Opening for John Henry and the Engine is Chicago's Scotland Yard Gospel Choir -- although that isn't yet up on Off Broadway's Web site. (Come on, guys!) That band's 2007 self-titled album on Bloodshot Records was a pleasant surprise; full of twinkly, lovely co-ed guitar-pop that resembles Belle and Sebastian, the Smiths and other, er, Scottish-pop songwriters. If you like your music melancholy and British, I suggest checking it out. (And for the love of God, go listen to their Pogues cover of "Fairytale of New York" at the MySpace!)

MP3s from all bands after the jump.

MP3: John Henry & the Engine, "New York Holidays"

MP3: John Henry & the Engine, "Sweetness Wind"

MP3: Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, "Aspidistra"

MP3: Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, "I Never Thought I Could Feel this Way for a Boy"

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