As musicians, we like to play. In my own mind there isn’t much in the old nostalgia bank that beats the memories I have of being 16, sneaking a few warm Budweisers down into my buddy Libbs’ basement and jammin’ for hours on end. I would place a high bet that most musicians also happen to like making music with a variety of different people on occasion as well. Keeps you on your toes, makes you a better player, keeps your sound evolving and challenging what it is to be folk, or rock, or metal even.
Connor Millican embraces this idea. His band “Wise Old Moon” has formed into a revolving and changing machine of characters and instruments from gig to gig. An idea that I find completely genius.
What stemmed from a member of the band having another business obligation has quickly morphed into something special. On any given night a bill with Wise Old Moon could mean many things (of course, it will always be a good thing because the music and songs are fantastic). It could be a stripped down solo show of just Millican, it could be an intimate duo of mandolin and guitar, a trio adding bass and a suitcase drum kit, or a full string section of guitar, bass, cello, upright bass, fiddle and some full drums for good measure. Keeping both Millican and his players/friends on their toes and making for a really wonderful experience for the audience. No two nights of this band are going to be the same, but with the company that Connor keeps it will always be excellent.
To me this is almost a dream. To be able to hear your songs in a multitude of ways, reimagined by your friends and people who will take great care of your songs if you give them the chance. Millican has proven himself as an excellent storyteller and songwriter. He also transforms on stage from a calm, collected guy to a ball of energy that those songs explode from. The dynamic mix of his storytelling, energy and the ever changing landscape of instrumentation behind him makes for a truly incredible live show. I think he is one of the most promising young songwriters in the North East right now.
There is a great show at the end of the month in Chester, Connecticut at the old Chester Meeting House. A beautiful venue and the first stop of a new series that Connor is pulling together with friends, The Meadows Brothers and others. The show will also feature the brothers as well as Jake Klar. If you are in driving distance, you should be there!