Canadian acoustic-folk hero, City and Colour (Dallas Green), is coming through House of Blues next Tuesday the 11th. His latest album, "Little Hell" is an exploration of the little heavens and hells that inevitably unravel in love, and getting through it while becoming stronger in the end. His songs are most often heartbreakingly sombre, fatal and apocalyptic they read out like journals of a broken man- or just a sensitive singer songwriter with neck tattoos and big glasses. Both find their place in him. Once the frontman for the massively popular post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, City and Colour began as a side project and flourished as a Billboard success- achieving what very few Canadian artists can: American cross-over appeal. His fragile acoustic melodies are appreciated by all kinds of sensitive-man-with-guitar enthusiasts. And there are a lot of them out there.
However, for his third record, it wasn't the same old formula, this time he's evolved, if only slightly, to include a more bluesier/country side to him. And if you're singing the blues, you'll have to pay your dues to those genres. Green makes use of this record like therapy- he writes songs about his wife's bouts of night terror, his sister's struggle with mental illness, economic struggles, natural disaster, his own personal grief and doubts- all of these things purge out in gorgeously loud rock songs, or calculated strumming of an acoustic guitar. All of these tracks are wrapped up in heavy instrumentation, lush bass tones, slide guitar, more experimentation. As if he cant' possibly get these thoughts out of his head without writing them down.
The record was recorded to tape in a church-turned-studio in Hamilton, Ontario with producer Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie/ At the Drive In). The tape recording really revealed Green's abilities as a songwriter and performer. Little Hell is a glimpse of what you can expect at House of Blues- there could be no better venue for this kind of music besides in your bedroom with the headphones on.
Nada Alic runs the San Diego-based music blog Friends With Both Arms.Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.