In just one year as a regularly scheduled feature on this planet, the Earth Room Concert Series at Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation has managed to make a big noise — in its own relatively quiet, intimately scaled fashion.
Internationally known touring and recording artists who otherwise couldn’t stake a claim at any of the Jersey Shore’s many concert halls, rock clubs and coverband bars have found snug harbor — and connected with passionate audiences of folk/ roots/ Americana music fans — within the welcoming walls of the UUC’s West Front Street meetinghouse.
This Saturday evening, the series that’s spotlighted the talents of singing spouses (the Kennedys), sisters (the Nields), surviving partners (Tracy Grammer) and stalwart solos (Matt Nakoa) introduces the Greater Red Bank Green to another couple of musically minded marrieds: the Toronto-based group known as the Young Novelists.
Founded by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Graydon James — who actually is a young novelist, with one published book (The Mall of Small Frustrations) and “two others in the works” according to the official website — the Young Novelists coalesced from a full six-piece band into a duo act through the evolving contributions of James’ wife, Laura Spink.
With one EP, a live album, and two full-length studio releases (including the recently dropped Made Us Strangers) to their credit, the Young Novelists balance some finely blended harmonies with a raw, “live off the floor” delivery that’s seen them recognized as Emerging Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and awarded first place in the Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition at the Connecticut Folk Festival.
Taking the opening slot for the 7:30 p.m. event is a performer who’s a new face here on the Green, even as he’s been busy “ruling the Pittsburgh coffeehouse scene” in his western Pennsylvania stomping grounds. Himself the author of five self-issued CDs, Brad Yoder makes his local bow in the company of Jason Rafalak, whose mastery of both upright and fretless bass (plus mandolin and vocal support) have lent dimension and dynamism to Yoder’s burgeoning catalog of “humorous, poetic, political, funky and edgy original songs.”
Tickets are available online here ($15 adult, $7.50 children age 12 and under) or at the door ($20 adult, $10 children age 12 and under).
The Earth Room Concerts series continues with a May 6 appearance by Celtic-tinged songsmith/painter Joe Crookston and opener Mike Agranoff.