I really hope Bryan John Appleby's name is real, because when you see him, he looks worthy of three names, straight out of an old hardcover book you found in a cafe in somewhere in South Park. With a husky beard and winter's sweater, he is the embodiment of the revivalist folk trend whose virtue is the timelessness of the acoustic guitar. This Seattle folk artist might be far from legend, but he's certainly making himself known. His album Fire on the Vine was featured as Bandcamp's album of the week, and he's currently on tour with Deep Sea Diver -- he'll come through the Tin Can on Jan 19.
Simplicity reigns through Fire on the Vine, as if the quiet spaces in between the words serve just as big a purpose as the lyrics themselves. There's a real earnestness to it, the kind that could only be nurtured up in the Pacific Northwest, honed only by the warmth of a nearby campfire, practiced outdoors, where a guy and a guitar can catch a break and no one finds it odd, no one even thinks to throw him a dollar. This is music in it's most natural habitat. Appleby is similar to another Seattle-based artist, David Bazan, one Appleby's struggles with God are slightly less overt and painful. You get the sense that there might be some faith in him, yet. Above all else, Fire on the Vine is elegant, inviting and ripe with rich storytelling. The intimacy of the Tin Can might just be the perfect setting to host an act like this.
Touring with Bryan John Appleby are Deep Sea Diver, a trio that includes Jessica Dobson, the guitarist of the Shins; her husband, Peter Mansen; and John Raines. Dobson has quite the resume, playing guitar for the likes of Beck and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Deep Sea Diver's highly anticipated album is out Feb. 24.
You can catch both acts, along with John Meeks, at the Tin Can Ale House for just $5. Get your tickets here.