I’ve been a fan of O’Death since the first time I heard them. Their consistently rowdy take on front-porch, depression-era Americana is an infectious and appropriate soundtrack to a night of heavy, perhaps reckless, drinking, and it’s a role they’ve embraced over the years. I even recall someone telling me their bassist threw up in his hands on stage during their show at this year’s Northside Festival.
Lead singer Greg Jamie has a new project, Blood Warrior, which has yielded drinking songs of a completely different stripe. If O’Death writes songs for the party, Blood Warrior writes songs for after the party. After the after-party, even, when you’re sitting one your couch having one last drink and trying to figure out how you ended up wherever you are.
They played last night, as part of the Ernest Jenning CMJ showcase at the new Knitting Factory, and it came off perfectly in a live setting. Greg Jamie’s acoustic guitar provides the unassuming groundwork for the songs, which are then bolstered by everything from keyboards to autoharp and, most importantly, pitch-perfect harmonizing between what seemed like everyone on stage, adding a hint of gospel to the firmly established old-time folk thing. At one point during their set, I mentioned to a friend that one of their songs reminded me of that awesome part in “Goodnight Saigon” where everyone puts their arms around each other for the refrain of “And we would all go down together.” This might sound silly, but it is not.
They’re playing at Bruar Falls tomorrow (3pm), and again on Sunday at Glasslands, with Wild Yaks.