The Ballroom Thieves

The Ballroom Thieves

Odetta Hartman

Fri, Dec 14, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Showcase Lounge

$14 advance | $16 day of show

This event is all ages

The Ballroom Thieves
The Ballroom Thieves
Darker times make for bolder and, sometimes, brighter art.

The Ballroom Thieves - Calin “Callie” Peters (vocals, cello), Martin Earley (guitar, vocals), and Devin Mauch (percussion, vocals) - mine immense melodies and hypnotic hooks from personal stories on their 2018 EP, Paper Crown (Nettwerk Records). Under the cover of vintage jazz-style, the five songs reflect feelings of rootlessness from four nomadic years, bouts of depression, and the ever-looming specter of political unrest hanging over the country.

Nevertheless, a noticeable glimmer of light always peeks through.

That subtle balance has transformed The Ballroom Thieves into a quiet phenomenon. Following two EPs, the group released their full-length debut A Wolf in the Doorway in 2015. Between marathons of touring, 2016’s Deadeye would spawn a string of fan favorites. They claimed real estate on prime Spotify playlists (e.g. “Your Favorite Coffeehouse,” “Relax & Unwind,” “Morning Acoustic”) with “Bees” cracking 10 million streams on the platform. Along the way, they sold out shows and delivered standout performances at festivals such as Boston Calling and Newport Folk Festival, while landing features at NPR, Baeble Music, Boston Globe, Paste, Earmilk, and many others.

In late 2017, they commenced work on Paper Crown, collaborating with producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, Vance Joy) in Washington for the first time.

During the process, The Ballroom Thieves dramatically expanded their sonic palette. Electric guitars figured prominently, and the group wholeheartedly embraced the fifties and sixties pop and country influences such as Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Willie Nelson in addition to religiously spinning Dan Auerbach.

The band introduced the EP with the haunting “Only Lonely.” It quickly generated over 3.9 million streams. Meanwhile, the single “Do Something” illuminates their evolution. Its smoky soul could very well have swooned right out of a Chicago jazz haunt and onto a California beach circa 1965. At the same time, it encases fiery rhetoric within those sweet sonics.

The Ballroom Thieves culled the EP title Paper Crown from a lyric in "Do Something." Representing the ephemeral nature of consumerism, corporate greed, and reality TV, it's symbolic of the fake coronation atop the country's hierarchy. At the same time, it proposes an alternative charge for unity in the face of this misdirection.

Whether it’s the hard-hitting “Can’t Cheat Death” or the tearful, yet upbeat joy of “Almost Love,” they make pronounced creative strides together.

In the end, The Ballroom Thieves strain light through all the darkness.
Odetta Hartman
With a heart-stopping voice & wide-ranging instrumental talent, Odetta Hartman carries cowboy soul into an era where country can clash with computers & bluegrass isn’t afraid of bass. Her debut LP 222 - an experimental, bedroom-produced hybrid of folk, musique concrète & psychedelia - was released on Northern Spy Records in 2015 to critical acclaim.

Odetta Hartman’s newly released 2nd album, Old Rockhounds Never Die, is a bonanza of beautiful contradictions: intimate yet fiercely internationalist, spiritual and yet tangible, sweet and also sexy. It convenes with the ghosts of the past while marching relentlessly forwards.

Produced by Jack Inslee (of Full Service Radio), Old Rockhounds Never Die continues to explore this uncanny sonic vernacular woven with badass banjos, detuned violins, field recordings, superstitious soundscapes, and vocal stylings ranging from sensual to spooky.

In a musical ecosystem where singular is overused and haunting is all but nauseating, Hartman and Inslee’s work here is deserving of such accolades. There is nothing quite else that ties together such imaginative incongruence with ease, a quilt of scraps that cannot be replicated. What should be a hot mess is a marvel, a constellation of sounds shining bright and mysterious.
Erin Osmon - Pitchfork
Venue Information:
Showcase Lounge
1214 Williston Road
South Burlington, VT, 05403
http://www.highergroundmusic.com/