Monday, September 20, 2010

Megafaun breathe new life into 'Sounds of the South' in Durham

All photos by Kevin Norris
Sunday afternoon brought the final performance of Megafaun and Fight the Big Bull's three night stand at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham. As the late afternoon light shined through the beautiful stained glass windows of the former church as Megafaun and Fight the Big Bull took the stage.

From the opening song, "Green Sally Up," it was clear that this wasn't going to be Alan Lomax's version of "Sounds of the South," but a completely new take on the thirteen songs the groups chose to tackle from the 105 track collection.

Each of Megafaun's three members showcased their vocal talents throughout the set. Megafaun and Richmond's Fight The Big Bull were joined on stage by Sharon Van Etten and Justin Vernon on many songs, which added vocal transcendence to those numbers.

Van Etten and Vernon were phenomenal when they took lead vocals their own, but the two killed together, sharing vocals on "Tribulations." It was immediately followed by "I'm Gonna Sail Like a Ship on the Ocean" led by Vernon and soulful trombonist Reggie Pace. It was a sound and sight to behold.

After a very brief break, all the musicians returned to the stage with all of their friends and family members who were in town for the event for a jubilant version of The Band's "The Night The Drove Old Dixie Down." The with horn section wailing and everyone singing, the performance was pure joy. It was a perfect close to an amazing set of unique music that only Megafaun could manage to pull off.

Once the album of these performances are released, you'll definitely want to pick it up. It was being filmed too, so maybe there will be an accompanying DVD. I certainly hope there will be.

Set list
Green Sally Up
The Banks of the Arkansas
The Arkansas Traveler
Cool Water Blues
I Want Jesus To Walk With Me
When You Get Home Write Me a Few Little Lines
Medley of American folk songs for children
Is There Anybody Here That Loves My Jesus
Drop Down Mama
Boll Weevil Holler
I'm Gonna Sail Like a Ship on the Ocean
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down


Amanda said...

glad to see i'm not the only one who doesn't know the lyrics to that song by the band.

streettcred said...

Such a good show! The acoustics, the passion they put behind the music...everyone was having so much fun with it.