Ezra Bell on tour in July + New Album

Article Contributed by Ezra Bell | Published on Friday, June 21, 2019

Ezra Bell's first full-length debut features ebullient soul twang, flowing and leaping like the music of a late 60s/early 70s recording of well-trained freaks dabbling in various genres. This Portland band sounds like they effortlessly recorded one of those forgotten-gem "cult albums", despite it being early 2018.

After three well-received EPs and playing regularly in Portland since 2013, the playfully literate and cheerfully plaintive Benjamin Wuamett and his gaggle of quite fit players, conjure up a festive dusky folk-rock-blues-jazz-R&B-pop vibe that doesn't smother out the melancholy. These haunted stories include key tracks "Tourists" ("This one is about realizing the game is rigged, but you still have to play; it's the only game in town"); "Yawning at the Seance ("This one is about the stories we tell ourselves in order to feel like everything is okay"), and "Let Me Do the Talking." About that last one: "The opening line is a rip-off of something the boxer Jack Johnson said when asked how he managed to so intrigue women. He said 'eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts.' I think it's one of the great travesties (and a telling indictment of our society) of our time that a great man's name has been usurped by some surfer singing about breakfast." The glistening, giddy music on these tracks help to document the car-wreck gas-lit lifestyles Wuamett masterfully describes. He displays gleaming shards of a self-depreciative self-awareness but also someone busy getting lost. "The overall theme going into this?" Wuamett answers to what the album is about. "Desperation. A call to arms. A whimper. A declaration that being witty by yourself at 4 AM in a basement, is a poor way to live." Ezra Bell features Maurice Spencer (bass), Tom Trotter (drums), Aaron Mattison (horns and arrangements), Honora Hildreth (backing vocals and percussion), and Jeremy Asay (keys and guitar) more-than-ably backing up Wuamett's story-songs and satirical jigs with organic precision.

Fresh off their successful journey through California and the Pacific Northwest with tour mates Pablo Dylan, Ezra Bell returns to The Rockies for the second half of their Summer 2019 tour. July’s dates follow last spring’s initial adventures into the area which included a sold out headlining show at Lost Lake (Denver, CO) and support slots with the inimitable MarchForth Marching Band.  

The playfully literate and cheerfully plaintive Benjamin Wuamett and his troupe of fine players conjure up a dusky folk-rock-jazz-R&B-pop vibe that doesn’t skimp on the melancholy. Their haunted stories flow and leap like the well-trained freaks and poets of bygone eras, and their live shows have been heralded for their transfixing and ephemeral performances. 

Tour Dates:

July 11 - La Grande, OR

July 12 - Ketchum, ID @ Whiskey Jaques

July 13 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Snowbird Resort

July 17 - Beaver Creek, CO @ Creekside Park

July 18 - Denver, CA @ Mile High Spirits

July 19 - Boulder, CO @ eTown Hall w/ Seth Walker

July 23 - Durango, CO @ Animas City Theatre w/ The Copper Children 

July 25 - Buena Vista, CO @ Ivy Ballroom