I love that Thin Line added music this year even though it made it harder to choose what to attend, mostly because the schedule was packed with a very impressive lineup. This past Friday I narrowed it down a bit and spent my evening enjoying this newly added section of the festival.
I made sure to catch Robert Gomez. He is one of Denton’s top singer/songwriters. The last chance I had to listen to Gomez live was during the 2013 Denton Holiday Lighting Festival. Not that there are few opportunities to hear his indie folk sounds around town. He always makes room in his busy schedule for local shows.
Gomez has played guitar and toured with musicians like Sarah Jaffe and many others. With extensive accolades, and albums, his most impressive and creative is his current work. In Severance Songs, he interprets five selections from Pulitzer-Prize winning author Robert Olen Butler’s 2006 book, Severance. As dark as the content may sound, the beautiful poetry to music with its deep lyrics creates a soft and mystical sound. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to listen to Gomez’s live performance which was presented at Thin Line thanks to 35Denton.
My biggest surprise of the evening, and what I enjoyed most, was Criminal Birds. Originally my schedule was going to keep me from watching the entire show. Lucky for me my bro Jake Laughlin of DentonRadio.com made sure they were on my radar.
I’ve heard Criminal Birds online but listening to them live is truly a different experience. Their onstage sound was explosive. I couldn’t believe the lungs and voice from lead vocalist Reggie Hastings who also plays guitar and keys. I seriously thought his voice was going to wear out at some point but he remained pitch perfect the entire set. And when I was able to move past his stunning voice, my attention went directly to the guy playing bass, Gunnar Ebeling, who entertained us with his crazy amazing dance moves.
I knew I couldn’t leave without taking their music with me. I was disappointed to learn that everything I heard was not on the band’s only EP. But what? There is an upcoming show Saturday, February 28th at J&J’s basement? It’s a fundraiser for their next EP which is scheduled to debut before the end of April. So the rest of the world won’t get a chance to hear Criminal Birds if I don’t attend this show? Friends you know where you will find me at the end of the month! In the meantime, here are some tunes to hold us over.