The Be Good Tanyas
Event on 2012-11-12 20:00:00
Adherents to the postmodernist philosophy tend to embrace nostalgia. Video catalogs are filled with TV shows transferred to DVD – shows that were in existence as far back as the 1960's. Perhaps there's a tension that there is no absolute truth and everyone's opinion should be equally embraced, which is relieved by going back to a time when problems were solved in twenty minutes plus commercials. The CD reissue market grows larger each day, as a desire to hear music from a bygone era exists. Supposedly, times were better then – simpler, more rational, and less threatened by nuclear holocaust and local crime waves. The postmodernists need look no farther than Vancouver, British Columbia to get the purest modern/old-timey/roots music available. The Be Good Tanyas have let themselves shine out in the darkness of the music realm. What they sing about, oddly enough, makes America the pluralistic, multi-faceted, musically foundational country she is.
This trio – Sam (Samantha) Parton, Frazey Ford, and Trish Klein – got their name from a song by music pioneer Obo Martin ("Be Good Tanya") and now have three albums to their credit along with having a song or two in movies such as Because of Winn Dixie.
Some have called these three anachronistic – they dress in outfits that hearken back to the Roaring Twenties; their Chinatown cover is decorated with Tetley Tea graphics from long ago. Perhaps they are neoclassicists; perhaps they are pacifistic postmodernists; perhaps they just love the old songs and love writing and singing new songs that just sound old. It is amazing that a group from Vancouver, British Columbia shows Americans what their own music sounds like. The Be Good Tanyas make modernly nostalgic music; one listen to any of their projects (especially the Stephen Foster song "Oh, Susanna" on Blue Horse) and one is hooked permanently.
If someone's looking for traditional American sounds that return to the Jimmie Rodgers/Carter Family era, he or she can find those sounds in this trio. If a person longs for sparse instrumentation along with voices that do not bellow or boast, he or she can find musical peace with these three ladies. If a person wants to hear performers who embrace the folk, country, and blues roots of American music with a little touch of the contemporary, then The Be Good Tanyas are voices that come out of the wilderness and onto center stage, performing music that transcends their birthdates and transports their listeners from the past to the present and vice-versa. Sam, Frazey, and Trish are an open-ended musical time capsule in suspended animation – out of the wilderness and into CD speakers and human ears – awaiting a musical feast.
at Englert Theatre
212 East Washington Street
Iowa City, United States