Ever since his relocation from the wilds of southwestern Alaska to Brooklyn this past spring, singer/songwriter Paul Basile has been gaining a consistently growing group of loyal fans. His earnest, poetic lyrics, as well as his unassuming, passionate stage presence, created a buzz at open-mic nights around the city. The time seemed right for him to put together a band, one that could put some muscle around the skeletons of his songs.
Here Lies Pa made their debut at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, January 4th. Featuring Basile on acoustic guitar/vocals, Patrick Hay on lead guitar, Chris Sahl on bass/vocals, and Nick Lombardi on drums, the band put on an impressive performance, especially considering they had never played together in public.
The intimate back room at Matchless was the perfect stage for the 1-hour set of almost all original material. Playing to a packed room of probably 50-60 people, Here Lies Pa kicked off with the opening chords of Beverly Road.mp3 ringing out. The song has been available on the band‘s myspace page for a few weeks now, and most of the crowd reacted as if they were quite familiar with the song. They followed with a song Basile introduced as “Freezy Freakies”. Featuring a double electric guitar assault, the song was more rockin’ than some of the crowd may have expected, but received a rapturous reception as it careened to a close. They followed that up with “Your Worst Nightmare”, a cover of a song written by Basile‘s “friend Joe”. The song had a gentle folk sway about it, with some nice slide guitar from Patrick Hay. These first three songs were a microcosm of the whole set. By switching styles and genres so fluidly, the band proved they were much more than one-trick ponies.
The set progressed in a similar manner right up to the end. Chris Sahl provided some nice harmonies on a few songs, and after his bass blew out halfway through the set (catching everyone in the room off guard), seamlessly switched over to electric guitar to work out his bass parts. The set ended with a trio of familiar songs that are sure to become fan favorites. “Cannonballs” started with Basile playing by himself, with the band slowly entering right up through the first chorus, then taking off for the second verse. The band was effective in their restraint during Further North.mp3, keeping the focus on Basile’s voice and lyrics. As the final note was played, drummer Nick Lombardi started into an almost tribal, off-kilter beat on his drum set. Soon enough the familiar chords of “Grab Your Guns” emerged and the band turned a dynamic performance, highlighted consistently by the other-worldly drumming. The anthemic chorus of “this is my awakening”, repeated over and over, was only fitting as the song roared to a close.
Although rough around the edges, as debut performances can’t help but be, the band proved that good songs and spirited performances are going to get noticed. This crowd was lucky enough to be at the first of what will undoubtedly be many more rockin’ nights. Catch Here Lies Pa at one of its upcoming shows later this month:
Jan. 28 - Freddy’s, Brooklyn www.freddysbackroom.com
Jan. 31 - Sidewalk Café, Manhattan http://www.antifolk.net/sidewalk
For more information on Here Lies Pa check out: