I always claim I only book bands I’ve seen, but I’ve been known to break my own rule on more than one occasion. In fact, I did it two months in a row. When Jann Klose’s manager/booking agent contacted me about a house concert I had no idea how she had found me, but Klose’s resume was impressive enough that I took a look at the links she had sent me. There were features on east coast TV and Entertainment Weekly’s Artist to Watch, but what intrigued me the most was that his voice had been featured in the new movie “Greetings from Tim Buckley.” The biopic used Klose as the singing for voice for the troubled folk icon. Since it was six months in advance, my calendar was open and I said sure.
Klose has developed a following in nearby Chicago, but this was his first time in Madison. I always warn bands that I have a hard time getting people out to see someone they haven’t heard of, but Klose didn’t seem too disappointed with the small crowd. He understood that it would take time to develop the sort of following that he already has in many other cities. I think he won over many of them with his set. He does have a great voice, soothing and charming, and his tunes, even solo on acoustic guitar, are hooky and interesting. His just short of an hour set included many of the songs from his new record Mosaic, including opening track “Make It Better,” which he also opened with tonight.
When I was trying to think of the ideal opener I thought of Centime, the project of singer/songwriter Sean Michael Dargan and the husband and wife team of Annelies Howell and Danny Hicks. Sadly, Howell informed me that Centime has disbanded. I was especially sad since I had only seen them twice. But it occurred to me that she and Hicks probably had an assortment of songs that they could play as a duo. I was right, and they jumped at the chance to put together a set. They asked if they could bring along a drummer who is also Hicks bandmate in another local band Bing Bong, and I said sure, hoping that Klose wouldn’t mind being outnumbered by the opening band. There were some rough edges, but as always Howell was fantastic. The set included a few covers from people like Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucault, as well as mostly originals, some of which were slated to become German Art Students tracks. It was great to have them, it isn’t often I can introduce a band as being something you can’t see anywhere else.
Annelies, Danny & Brian